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rhino

Superstar Jay Chou Joins Fight Against Illegal Wildlife Trade

We’re pleased to announce that Jay Chou, one of Asia's biggest celebrities, has joined the fight with WildAid in a new campaign against rhino horn, shark fin, elephant ivory and other products that are decimating wildlife. 

Chou is a native of Taiwan, once a hotbed for rhino horn trafficking and consumption. In fact, in the early 1990s, Taiwan was the biggest consumer of rhino horn, contributing to a poaching crisis at the time that decimated rhino populations. But thanks to decisive new laws and a mass education campaign, Taiwan ended its trade in rhino horn. Since then, rhino populations rebounded until new demand for rhino horn developed in Vietnam and mainland China, where it is peddled as a panacea for ailments and diseases, from hangovers to cancer. Currently about 1,200 rhinos are killed each year in South Africa.

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“Cuu Te Giac,” Vietnamese for “Save Rhinos”

In just a few short months, WildAid’s second-year initiatives for our “Stop Using Rhino Horn” campaign have become viral hits in Vietnam, reaching over 1 million people via traditional and social media channels.

Why are we working in Vietnam? In recent years, the country has become a primary market for rhino horn. Given its exorbitant cost, it’s used by some to demonstrate affluence and social status, both as a party drug and as a gift to important political officials. It’s also peddled as a cure for myriad health problems including cancer, despite any medical evidence proving such benefits.

Our campaign aims to educate the public about the rhino-poaching crisis and to counter the myths of rhino horn’s alleged medicinal benefits. After all, rhino horn is primarily composed of keratin fibers, the same as human hair and fingernails.

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Recent Spike in Large Seizures of Ivory, Rhino Horn, Pangolin Scales

Over the past two weeks, authorities in multiple countries have arrested smugglers and seized major shipments of illegal wildlife products in Africa and Asia, including rhino horn, elephant ivory and pangolin scales.

The largest such seizure occurred earlier this week in Singapore, where an estimated $6 million in ivory tusks, rhino horn and teeth believed to be from cheetahs and leopards were found stashed in a shipping container filled with bags of tea leaves. 

In each of these six separate cases, the shipments were en route to Vietnam and/or China, or involved smuggling by nationals of those countries.

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