I know how to save the endagnered elephants (& rhinos & walri)!

So I was reading about how difficult it is to prevent poaching of elephants and rhinoceri/eruses. At best the wardens get to the kill just after the poachers have left. And for some reason I thought of tetracycline (a generally good antibiotic), which when given to young people discolors their teeth.

I put the two thoughts together and came up with, why don’t we discolor elephant tusks and rhino horns? It wouldn’t hurt the animals, and would make their tusks/horns much less valuable to poachers. If not tetracycline, there are other relatively innocuous chemicals that should do the trick. At worst, we could dye the tusks/horns with something that would seep far enough into it that it couldn’t be filed off.

So, why not?


IIRC, Rhino horns are ground for use as an aphrodesiac in Japan.

I don’t think color is going to matter to loonies who think (what is essentially) ground up toenail clippings are gonna make them better in the sack.

Plus…who is going to volunteer for that job? Better to just cut them off like they do now.

ok, so it wouldn’t work for rhino horns, but it would work for ivory. And they don’t cut tusks off, do they?