Poaching for Jambiya Handles
Back in the 1970s and 80s, horn from rhinos killed in East Africa tended to end up in the Yemen, where it could be made into ornamental handles for daggers (jambiyas), while horn from rhinos poached in southern Africa (as well as from those poached in Asia) made its way to the Far East where it is used in traditional medicine.
The trade to Yemen was fuelled by the oil boom, when income in the Middle East enabled the rise of a new middle class able to afford luxury products. Although jambiyas can have handles made of a range of substances, such as precious metals, buffalo or plastic, and can be decorated with gemstones, those made of rhino horn are regarded as the “Rolex” or ‘Porsche” version.
Whilst this is a traditional use of rhino horn, it is accounting for less and less poaching incidents. Far more rhino horn is being poached to supply the market for traditional medicine.
Currently, most rhino horns leaving southern Africa are destined for end-use markets in southeast and east Asia, especially Viet Nam and China; available evidence does not (at this time) implicate Yemen, another traditional end-use market, in this trade.
Milliken et al, 2009
African and Asian Rhinoceroses - Status, Conservation and Trade
What is Save the Rhino doing?
Save the Rhino is one of the few organizations working to protect all five species of rhinos through a range of activities.
Read about the work we are doing in Consumer countries to reduce the demand for rhino horn
Read about all of the conservation activities we do to protect rhinos in the field
How you can help
- Report to the authorities if you suspect someone is selling/buying rhino horn products.
- Donate towards much-needed anti-poaching equipment and support
- Become a member of Save the Rhino and join the struggle
- Become an ambassador for rhinos by fundraising and raising awareness with you friends, family, fellow students and work colleagues.
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