How biotechnology could combat the rhino poaching crisis

It is reported that 1 215 rhinos were poached in South Africa in 2014; that is approximately one rhino every eight hours. The latest developments in biotechnology have the potential to save the rhino and other wildlife products currently being poached into extinction.

Matthew Markus, CEO of San Francisco based biotech company, Pembient spoke to us about this advancement. According to Markus, he had the idea of cruelty free rhino horn for 20 years.

When I was in college, I was reading about the poaching crisis at the time and studying pure science. I thought of how great it would be to copy physical objects like the rhino horn; that way there would be no need to harm the animal. That was a naïve dream. But fast forward to 2015 and the technology is available to see the idea through.

Markus says that many users of rhino horn powder have consumed their synthetic product without realising the difference between the natural wild life product. He says feedback suggests that they manage to capture the essence of the animal in their process.

Changing the conversation around rhino horn usage

Markus says that his organisation does not find it useful when other wildlife advocacy groups deny the medicinal value perceived by some users of rhino horn powder. He says, rather than deny that the demand exists, there is an opportunity to commit themselves to minimising the demand by creating the lab grown products. He advised that, in some instances, wild life products on the black market are not safe for use. He says that the biotechnology-based product is a pure substance, with high quality , unadulterated by any other elements.

Listen to the full conversation on the Weekend Breakfast Show:


This article first appeared on 702 : How biotechnology could combat the rhino poaching crisis


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
I've finally decided to start my 1st solo project - Zolani Mahola, Freshlyground

I've finally decided to start my 1st solo project - Zolani Mahola, Freshlyground

On the #WeekendBreakfast with Africa Melane, Zolani Mahola of Freshlyground tells us all about her first solo project.

'I enjoyed 'The House with a Clock in its Walls' movie but the ending is crazy'

'I enjoyed 'The House with a Clock in its Walls' movie but the ending is crazy'

Film critic Gayle Edmunds shares her views of the gothic horror inspired movie, 'The House with a Clock in its Walls'.

Should SA sell its huge rhino horn stockpile?

Should SA sell its huge rhino horn stockpile?

The environment minister has announced that the decision to sell a massive rhino horn stockpile will be based on a committee's findings.

Rough Rhino rescues stranded baby zebra

Rough Rhino rescues stranded baby zebra

Willdlife photographer, Roel van Muiden snapped a unique moment on a game drive at the Madikwe Game Reserve.

A record number of Rhinos were poached in 2014

A record number of Rhinos were poached in 2014

Minister Edna Molewa says they are not underestimating the scale of the problem, but arrests are not a deterrent currently.

More rhinos poached in 2014 than ever before

More rhinos poached in 2014 than ever before

Despite more arrests, brand new statistics show the number of rhinos poached continues to rise.

Popular articles
'It's unacceptable that government officials pay R75 for luxury apartments'

'It's unacceptable that government officials pay R75 for luxury apartments'

IFP national spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa says the party is calling for a review of these rates that are a cost to taxpayers.

[WATCH] Man exposes people selling stolen goods on Facebook

[WATCH] Man exposes people selling stolen goods on Facebook

Anton Fourie says he used his phone to record the interaction to create awareness of what is going on in the community.

[WATCH] Sars boss confusing, evasive testimony at Nugent Commission

[WATCH] Sars boss confusing, evasive testimony at Nugent Commission

Khabazela shares some of the most popular tweets, posts, and videos on 'What's gone viral'.

Pieter du Toit on VBS, Malema's EFF and contradicting ethics

Pieter du Toit on VBS, Malema's EFF and contradicting ethics

Malema has accused the rogue unit of still being operational and Pravin Gordhan of working in the background against the EFF.

Zondi tells court that she had to 'look happy' in church out of fear for Omotoso

Zondi tells court that she had to 'look happy' in church out of fear for Omotoso

Cheryl Zondi is testifying against Pastor Timothy Omotoso who is accused of rape and human trafficking in his Durban church.

Getting drunk improves creative problem solving - Harvard Business School

Getting drunk improves creative problem solving - Harvard Business School

Bruce Whitfield asks branding and advertising expert Andy Rice about a peculiar study that has creatives reaching for the tequila.