In attempts to reduce demand for rhino horn, researchers and conservationists have tried various methods of replacement; the thought being similar substitutions would give our rhinos a break.
In the early 1990s, conservationists encouraged use of Saiga antelope horn as an alternative. At the time their numbers were in the millions, overpopulating some areas. But the plan backfired, and sadly the animals declined to fewer than 30,000 due to rampant poaching. Ultimately the antelope wound up on the same endangered species list as the rhino.
The horns of Buffalo, Yak and other bovine have also been used as options to rhino, both knowing and unknowingly. (As the number of rhino plummet, more counterfeit product are flooding the market.)
In the search for a more ethical replacement, there have been powders and elixirs advertised as “rhino horn alternatives”most of which essentially contain keratin (the main ingredient in rhino horn).
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