Rhino horn myth by Maree  Clarkson

Ink sketch and colour wash on Bockingford 300gsm
White Rhinocerous (Ceratotherium simum)
Black Rhinocerous (Diceros bicornis)

With today’s network of communication tools, such as social media, it is now possible for these findings to reach a global audience like never before – and we can move closer to busting these persistent myths about rhino horn, which are indeed the root of the rhino crisis. By raising public awareness and educating others about the truth behind rhino horn, we can make a difference.

As part of continued efforts to set the record straight on rhino horn’s so-called curative properties, three scientific studies were re-introduced, confirming that rhino horn has no medicinal value. The studies were conducted by different teams of researchers at separate institutions. In each case, the results were conclusive: There is no scientific evidence to support claims of rhino horn’s usefulness as a medicine.

The studies “found no evidence that rhino horn has any medicinal effect as an antipyretic and would be ineffective in reducing fever, a common usage in much of Asia.” Testing also confirmed that “rhino horn, like fingernails, is made of agglutinated hair” and “has no analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmolytic nor diuretic properties” and “no bactericidal effect could be found against suppuration and intestinal bacteria”,. And medically, "it’s the same as if you were chewing your own nails”.

When there were still at least 15,000 black rhinos on the African continent, WWF and the IUCN commissioned a pharmacological study of rhino horn, hoping that science would trump cultural myths. Tragically, by 1993, ten years after the study was published, Africa’s black rhino population had plummeted to just 2,300.

Conducted by Hoffmann-LaRoche, the research was published in The Environmentalist
Info from Rhino Conservation

Throw pillow

  1. 5th March 2011 – FEATURED in Sketching and Drawings
  2. 5th March 2012 – FEATURED in Animals of Africa
  3. 11th March 2012 – FEATURED in Fauna, Flora, Landscapes and Architecture of South Africa
  4. 21st October 2012 – FEATURED in Women Painters
  5. 15th January 2014 – FEATURED by RedBubble in EXPLORE

I am a watercolorist living on my little piece of African soil in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa. The inspiration for my art is the wonderfully rich variety of Fauna and Flora to be found throughout this beautiful country.
“There is a fine line between dreams and reality; it’s up to you to draw it.”

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  • Elizabeth Kendall
    Elizabeth Kendallabout 3 years ago


  • Thanks a lot Elizabeth!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Jennifer Sumpton
    Jennifer Sumptonabout 3 years ago

    Couldn’t agree more Maree. When will we learn that extinction is FOREVER and to destroy all these wonderful creatures will ultimately lead to our own destruction!!!

  • That’s so true Jennifer. And all we ever read in the media is statistics of all the atrocities, and nothing as to what can actually be done to stop this. Education is and always will be the best tool.

    – Maree Clarkson

  • AuntDot
    AuntDotabout 3 years ago

    Beautifully done and an important statement.

  • Thanks for that fav Dot, pleased you like it!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Anna Goodchild
    Anna Goodchildabout 3 years ago

    great image.

  • Thank you very much Anna!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • vanitastic
    vanitasticabout 3 years ago

    Sterk boodskap. Baie goed gedoen.

  • Vreeslik baie dankie, bly jy hou daarvan!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • timbuckley
    timbuckleyabout 3 years ago

    some times its hard to state the obvious but your line drawing and graphic makes one stop and think I only hope that those who poach or buy such silly cures realise their folly for when there gone we will not see their might and like again
  • It IS difficult to go on and on and on about the subject Tim, and one hopes that some day the message sinks in.

    Has this been featured? I don’t seem to see it on your featured pages…?

    – Maree Clarkson

  • David Clarke
    David Clarkeabout 3 years ago

    Well said, Maree. Great image

  • Thanks ever so much David!

    – Maree Clarkson

  • Magriet Meintjes
    Magriet Meintjesabout 3 years ago

    1 IMAGE PER 24HRS 2012/03/02
    Excellent art and writing, BRAVO!

  • judygal
    judygalabout 3 years ago

  • Magriet Meintjes
    Magriet Meintjesabout 3 years ago

    Congratulations on your Featured work in the Animals of Africa, Best of the best group. Please participate in our Monthly Avatar Voucher challenge. Well done!

  • This is ever so great Magriet! Thank you for the feature, much appreciated!

    – Maree Clarkson

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