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APR 18, 2013 - The Economist

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Banyan: Horn of scarcity

WRITING in 1917, R.B. Smart, deputy commissioner and settlement officer in Akyab district of British-ruled Burma (now Rakhine state in Myanmar), was worried about local rhinoceroses. His volume of the “Burma Gazetteer” notes that their blood and horns were much prized as medicines and aphrodisiacs. As a result “these animals are ruthlessly hunted down and shot.” The state was already one of the few parts of Burma where rhinos were still fairly plentiful, but “they will become extinct in the near future if not preserved.”Smart’s concern seemed more for the loss of big game for the “European ... Read More

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