VOICED BY: MICHAEL REID
The advent of prescription potency medicine like Viagra has given new hope for the survival of the endangered one-horn rhinoceros of India.
Wildlife lovers are hoping that synthetic treatments like Viagra may reduce the demand for rhino horns, believed to possess legendary aphrodisiac properties.
Organised poaching gangs have brought one-horn rhinos to the brink of extinction, as their prized horns support a flourishing international black market.
Dawn in northeast India.
A sanctuary for one horn rhinoceros'.
Only two thousand of these majestic beasts still roam the planet.
Victims of oriental medical practices but, the advent of synthetic aphrodisiac's could save the rhino.
"The Rhino horn as such does not contain any aphrodisiac value although there is traditional belief in those areas. However with the mushrooming of synthetic drugs like Viagra, it is possible that the demand might come down."
SUPER CAPTION: Anwaruddin Choudhary, Forest Minister, Assam
Armed guards patrol the park to protect the endangered rhinos from poachers.
But, guards with obsolete guns are no match for the organised poachers and traders.
An estimated 600 rhinos have been killed the past two decades.
Because a kilogramme of rhino horn sells for more than 30-thousand U-S dollars on the black market, the guards are no match for the organised rhino raids.
But the Rhino's future seems assured.
"There is the risk of continued decline and extinction of the rhino unless the successful programmes that have occurred in the past can be continued."
SUPERCAPTION: Thomas Foose, Programme Director, International Rhino Foundation, USA
An awareness campaign is educating the local people about the harm being done to the one-horn rhinos as science tries to find substitutes for rhino horns.
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