Bio-engineerd rhino horn might not be so great for rhinos

A 3-D printer making rhino horn? Good news for the world’s dwindling population of rhinos… This is how Pembient’s Matthew Markus describes the product…

“You can’t physically tell the difference. No one looking at this could tell this wasn’t from a rhino. It’s the same thing. For all intents and purposes, this is a real rhino horn.”

Only not so fast. Will it stop poaching? Those of us who have covered the wildlife debate in Africa know that most campaigners oppose, for example, the release of seized stockpiles of ivory because they keep the market alive. This is how Crawford Allan, of Traffic, puts it:

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions. My hat’s off to these guys for sticking their necks out and trying to do something, but they should sit down with the people in the country who are experts on consumers and talk these things through, because this could really backfire.”


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