Yesterday, thanks to an updated CNN article, the Western Black Rhino was declared extinct. Again. The first time was in 2011. But then, says Boxplot's Maki Naro, "in this fast-paced world, it's easy to forget when an animal quietly sulks off into the night. Only that wasn't the case here at all."
Above: The skull of a female Western Black Rhino, via Wikimedia Commons
The Western Black Rhino, Naro continues, went extinct thanks to bullshit "mysticism, alchemy, and superstition":
In 2000, Diceros bicornis ssp. longipes was classified as critically endangered due to poachers seeking their horns. The rhino has no ivory. Its horns are made of layers of keratin, the same material that makes up hair and fingernails. The demand for the horns comes soley from practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which prize the horn as a remedy for just about everything*. Of course, TCM with all its mysticism, alchemy, and superstition is just that. It's magic. Not only that, but it was invented in the 1950's as a way to unite China against western influences.
Naro has some more "select, strong words for people who buy into TCM." We suggest you read the rest of them over at Boxplot.