‘Party Girls and Rhino Horns: Death of an Icon’

The first Café Scientifique of the academic year was a fascinating - though at times challenging- talk and presentation from author, and Woldingham Old Girl, Annabel Claridge.  Annabel conducted research into rhino poaching for her novel, The Rhino Farm, and is now a passionate advocate for these endangered animals.  Rhino horn is currently more expensive than gold, weight for weight, meaning that poaching is on the increase - in South Africa alone, the number of rhinos poached in 2016 was over 1,000, compared to 13 in 2008.  Fortunately, there are organisations that are tackling this problem, and Annabel showed some incredible footage of rhinos being lifted by helicopters for relocation in safer areas.  She also told students that they can help this situation by means of peer pressure - elsewhere it is fashionable for powdered rhino horn to be added to cocktails. Explaining the barbaric nature of this trade to those fuelling it could offer these iconic animals a brighter future.