The term “rhino wars” generally refers to two events in recent African conservation history that have threatened the very existence of the remaining rhinos on earth. The first started in the 1970s with a sudden upsurge in demand for rhino horn used to fashion the handles of the traditional curved daggers, or jambiya, worn by Yemeni men. By the mid-1990s, this onslaught had been curbed. The focus of the second war has been on South Africa’s White Rhinos, particularly those in the Kruger National Park, which have been decimated as a result. But, to grasp the full extent of the lopsided relationship between humans and rhinos, we need to reach back a lot further than these recent events.

Photo credit: Shannon Wild
Updated date: July 11, 2022