Social organisations play a key role in raising public awareness of rhino protection and no use of the animal’s horn – which is wrongly thought to possess medicinal properties, heard a seminar in Ho Chi Minh City on August 8.

The event forms part of the campaign to reduce the demand for the horn launched by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Humane Society International (HSI).

Director of the HIS’s Wildlife Department Teresa Telecky highlighted the role of social organisations in reducing rhino horn demand, with widespread communication campaigns on the importance of protecting the wildlife, including rhino.

Scientific research shows that the rhino horn has no medical properties as people have ever thought, she said, adding that to prevent rhinos from poaching, some toxic chemicals are even injected into their horns.

According to the organisation, there are about 23,800 rhinos in nature, mostly in Africa where more than 1,000 rhinos were poached last year.

Vietnam is one of the countries having an increasing demand for rhino horns that are smuggled to China, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

The last rhino in Vietnam was killed in 2010, which was a tragic lesson in protecting wildlife on the verge of extinction.-VNA