"Gosh, daddy forced me to take rhino horn... It tasted so disgusting..."
This is a facebook status update by a Vietnamese girl, probably from a very rich family in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
The luxury world associated with rhino horns of the rich in Vietnam was revealed through photos by American photographer Justin Mott on Justinmott.photoshelter.com. Published in Vietnam by Vietnamnet.
In Vietnam, according to traditional medicine practice and traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) rhino horns have long been considered as such panacea along with other drugs like tiger bone glue, bear bile, dear antler velvet and salanganes’ nests.
As a consequence, many people want to purchase rhino horns since they believe in its miraculous effects to cure sick patients. As googling some key words such as “buying rhino horns”, “buying real rhino horns in Hanoi”, you will find so many articles relating as well as advertising for sales of rhino horns on website forums.
On September 2013, TRAFFIC published a report based on consumer research study conducted on 720 chosen participants in Hanoi and Ho chi minh city named: “Rhino horn consumers, who are they?” It has significantly revealed the consumer demographic for rhino horns whom mostly are men over the age of 40 and women in their 50s. Further, only 35% of the people surveyed said they would never buy or consume rhino horns.
These are what were written in a Vietnamese traditional medicine website.
Rhino horns have long been considered a rare and precious drug! Consequently, rhinos are listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species that are critically endangered and need protection. Mostly based on folklore and myth, it is widely believed that rhino horns have the ability to enhance libido, “rejuvenation”, reduce a fever, and even to cure cancer and diabetes!