1 min read.Updated: 22 Sep 2021, 12:45 PM ISTLivemint
Assam has the largest population of the Greater one-horned Rhino in the world. With about 2,600 individuals, they are found in Kaziranga and Manas National Park
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On the occasion of World Rhino Day, the Assam government Wednesday burned 2,479 rhino horns to bust myths associated with it and prevent poaching of the animal. The government will be burning the stockpiles of the 2,479 rhinos' horns in six giant furnaces on Wednesday.
The rhinos horns were burned at Bokakhat, Assam's Golaghat district, near Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR). The grand ceremony has been publicized as a “milestone towards rhino conservation" aimed at “busting myths about rhino horns".
On September 16, the state cabinet unanimously decided to publicly burn 2,467 pieces of rhino horns out of 2,623 rhino horns stockpiled in state treasuries. While 94 rhino horns will be kept and preserved as heritage pieces for academic purposes and public viewing.
Assam has the largest population of the Greater one-horned Rhino in the world. With about 2,600 individuals, they are found in Kaziranga and Manas National Park. They were earlier found in Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary and some other parts of the state.
Essentially a mass of compacted hair, rhino horn is made up of Keratin, which also makes up our hair and fingernails.
The myth behind rhino horns
It is used in traditional Chinese medicine to cure a range of ‘ailments’ from cancer to hangovers, and also as an aphrodisiac. The horn, which is shaved or powdered and dissolved in boiling water, is used to treat fever, rheumatism, gout and other diseases. Possessing a rhino horn is considered a status symbol. Due to this poaching of rhinos is widely prevalent in the state. Therefore, the Assam government has decided to burn horns to send a clear-cut message --that this is not medicine.