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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 2nd December 2016 > A TIPPING POINT FOR SLAUGHTER

A TIPPING POINT FOR SLAUGHTER

In South Africa, rhinos are worth more dead than alive. Can legalizing trade in their horns save them from extinction?

@RachelNuwer

RHINO ROULETTE: South Africa is home to 80 percent of the world’s rhinos, a third of which belong to private owners. Some owners say legal trade in the rhinos’ horns is the only way to save them.
DENIS FARRELL/AP

WOBBLING LEFT, then right, the 2-ton animal stumbles and starts to fall. Twelve pairs of hands are there to ease it toward the dusty orange earth. A man wearing a blue work suit quickly straps an eye mask over the sedated beast; another slips in a pair of massive earplugs. A few measurements are taken, then the reciprocating saw comes out. A worker turns it on and presses the whirring blade against the base of the rhino’s nubby horn, and white chips go flying. Within a couple of minutes, the horn cleanly pops off, leaving a teardrop shaped pattern of pink, white and black keratin—a biological material found in hair and nails. Mission completed, wildlife veterinarian Michelle Otto injects the rhino with an antidote to the sedative she darted it with 10 minutes earlier. The team scrambles into two pickup trucks, and the rhino—its nose sporting a stubby plateau rather than a peak—stumbles to its feet and trots off.

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LE FRONT TRUMP: EUROPE COULD BE NEXT If the National Front’s Marine Le Pen wins the French presidential election in May, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council would be led by Trump, Le Pen, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping and Britain’s Theresa May, who is ushering the U.K. out of the EU (even though she campaigned, tepidly, for it to remain). With the possible exception of May, none seem thrilled about how the world has worked since the end of the Cold War.
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