Friday, November 11, 2011


MAMMAL SPECIES AT RISK, REPORT - The International Union for the Conservation of Nature is officially declaring the western black rhino of Africa extinct. In its latest assessment of the situation, the IUCN says two other sub-species of rhinoceros also are close to extinction.  The director of IUCN’s Global Species program, Jean-Christophe Vie, tells VOA poaching is the main threat to the survival of the rhinoceros.  “People just shooting them to take their horn. So, that is it,” Vie said. “That is what also killed the latest rhino in Vietnam, just poaching. People just want to make money out of the horn. So, by doing that, they undermine all the potential of rhinos for the development of economic opportunity in tourism. Rhinos in the world are really attractive animals. So, in a way, it is undermining the potential of the countries to develop responsible tourism and generate income.”  Vie says millions of dollars are spent by people who buy the horn, falsely believing it can cure cancer.

Besides the rhino, he says there are more than 20,000 other species, including plants, fish, invertebrates, mammals and birds that are threatened with extinction. He notes about a quarter of all mammals are at risk of being wiped out.  He says a lack of political support and willpower for conservation efforts is hastening the demise of many of these species.  “The main problem is the countries in southern and eastern Africa are facing lots of poaching,” he said. “It is just organized crime. I think this year, the poachers have killed more than 300 already, including national parks.  It is really criminal doing that. And, this is to sell the horn, mostly to Asia and, I know, it is mostly Vietnam.”  Despite the action of conservation programs, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature warns many sub-species of rhinos may soon be a thing of the past.

One in four mammal species are at risk of extinction, and the Western black rhino has officially been declared extinct.  The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) pointed that 341 rhinos have been lost to poaching so far this year.  The rhinos are usually killed for their horns, which are now worth more than gold.  In Southeast Asia they are used as aphrodisiacs or in traditional medicines - there is a false rumor that rhino horn can cure cancer.  It is a demonic conception to hunt animals and make a profit at the expense of the suffering of others.

“If in this life a man of the higher classes [brāhmana, kshatriya and vaiśya] is very fond of taking his pet dogs, mules or asses into the forest to hunt and kill animals unnecessarily, he is placed after death into the hell known as Prānarodha. There the assistants of Yamarāja make him their targets and pierce him with arrows.” (SB 5.26.24)  In the Western countries especially, aristocrats keep dogs and horses to hunt animals in the forest.  Whether in the West or the East, aristocratic men in the Kali-yuga adopt the fashion of going to the forest and unnecessarily killing animals. Men of the higher classes (the brāhmanas, kshatriyas and vaiśyas) should cultivate knowledge of Brahman, and they should also give the śūdras a chance to come to that platform. If instead they indulge in hunting, they are punished as described in this verse.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
Śrīmad Bhāgavatam - Canto 5: “The Creative Impetus”
Chapter 26: “A Description of the Hellish Planets”
Verse 24 - Bhaktivedanta VedaBase

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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