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Reducing Demand for Rhino Horn in the USA

by Helping Rhinos USA
Reducing Demand for Rhino Horn in the USA
Reducing Demand for Rhino Horn in the USA
Reducing Demand for Rhino Horn in the USA
Reducing Demand for Rhino Horn in the USA
Reducing Demand for Rhino Horn in the USA
Reducing Demand for Rhino Horn in the USA
Reducing Demand for Rhino Horn in the USA
Reducing Demand for Rhino Horn in the USA
Black Rhinos in their majesty - the beneficiaries!
Black Rhinos in their majesty - the beneficiaries!

We are excited to be able to expand this project even more than it was already! We have hired a really skilled, creative, and innovative conservation educator who has been involved at the highest levels of these kinds of campaigns!

Ms. Pletcher will be working with Helping Rhinos USA to expand this project in fall of 2019, and will be amazing. She has already started reaching out to teachers and principals across San Diego, Orance, LA, and Riverside counties to try to visit as many as 20 additional schools this fall.

These counties are where the majority of possible rhino horn consumers live, and where the majority of the confiscations of smuggled rhino horn have occurred. The children in these communities are already advocates for conservation. Our rhinocation efforts will build their abilities and knowledge to be passionate advocates for rhino conservation!

Welcome to the Rhinocation Team Ms. Pletcher!

Children change cultures
Children change cultures

Children really can change culture. As anyone who has ever had a child of their own, or has been a very involved aunt or uncle can attest, when the child has an idea or an opinion about which they’re particularly passionate, they will not stop until everyone around them is aware of that. This fervor and determination can change culture, both in the short term and over the long-term.

It is for this reason that our Reducing Demand For Rhino Horn Education Program in the United States has been so effective. In 2018 we reached almost 1000 students, through the assembly and class presentations.

In addition we reached several hundred more students that used our curriculum, one that is constructivist, student lead, and incredibly engaging! Our curricula are standards aligned, and have been adopted by a dozen schools across the country. 

As you know, China and Vietnam are the largest consumers of rhino horn globally. Unfortunately, the United States runs in third place, because of the large number of people from that region that we are fortunate enough to be able to call neighbors and friends in the United States.

It is for this reason that we work with teachers in primarily Asian communities across the United States. If you have friends or neighbors that are teachers and they would be interested in using our curriculum, for having us visit their school, these ask them to reach out to us!

Thank you for all you have done to make our Reducing Demand For Rhino Horn Education Program such a success!

Kids Rock!
Kids Rock!

Greetings all,

We are writing to ask for your help in connecting us with middle school teachers!

Thanks for your support of our education program designed to reduce the demand for rhino horn in the third greatest consumer of rhino horn - the United States. Is this as surprising to you as it is to us? We talk with people all over the country on a regular basis, and nearly everyone is surprised at this.

However, we are a wonderfully pluralistic country, with people from all over the world. The many immigrants who come add immensely to our country in many ways, but unfortunately some are also believers in the use of rhino horn for medical purposes. Even though there is no medically viable basis for the claims, a few subscribers to Traditional Asian Medicine continue to demand the horn.

This is why we are working in communities with great numbers of Asian immigrants to work with their children. As you'll undoubtedly agree, children are hugely influential of the opinions, and more importantly, the actions of their parents. Building empathy among children and empowering them to influence their families as well as their larger communities is a core part of addressing the main motivator for why rhinos are being killed for their horn.

This is where YOU come in! Are you an educator? Do you have family who are teachers? Are any of your friends helping to shape the next generation of citizens? We’d really love you to either engage with our rhino-focused interdisciplinary curriculum designed for middle school and high school students yourself if you are a teacher. OR, if you have family or friends who are teachers, please encourage them to reach out to us!

Reply to this email and let us know that you would like to join Team Rhino and help cause a crash in the demand for rhino horn.

Yours in Loving Rhinos,


P.S. Did you get the bad pun in the last sentence? A group of rhino are called a crash!

Students in the northwest learning about rhinos!
Students in the northwest learning about rhinos!

Howdy all, 


It's been an interesting process here in getting our efforts to reduce demand for rhino horn to take off. Although our domestic program in the US, centered on Southern California has not been so successful, we have had great success internationally.

Domestically in the US, we have had some challenges in getting classroom teachers to adopt our curriculum, despite sending out several invitations to teachers and their principals in school districts across Southern California. We are realizing that part of this is our own fault. We made the early decision to use Google Classrooms for disseminating the materials, as that would allow teachers to communicate with each other on the bulletin board. However, we have come to realize that the Google Classroom platform, good as it is, has become a barrier for teacher adoption of the curricula.

As such, we are moving over to simply hosting the curricula on our education page. Separately, we at Helping Rhinos have created a primary school curriculum and activity book that has been hugely successful, having been adopted for use by almost 100 classrooms all over the world. We have great hopes that we will meet with a bit more success in teachers adopting the curricula in this format, even if the value of the discussion boards is lost by doing so.

All that said, we have had great success internationally in spreading the message. For example, Wild Nature Institute, working in Tanzania is really interested in using our curricula in their education and outreach efforts in that lovely country. We have also been in discussions with the Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit, as their education branch called the Bush Babies in South Africa are really interested in using these innovative materials to teach. Similarly the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is in the process of reviewing the curricula for their use in their on-grounds teaching and teacher training. 

We are optimistic and hopeful that with your help, we will help to reduce the demand for rhino horn in the US with some small tweaks to our approach - you live and you learn - and generate a generation of rhino conservationists!

Best to you all and thanks for being part of our team!

Home page of Helping Rhinos
Home page of Helping Rhinos
Rhinocation at a primary school east of LA!
Rhinocation at a primary school east of LA!

We have had some success over the last few months in rolling out the Demand Reduction Curriculum in the US - and also in South Africa!

It has been a bit challenging recruiting teachers to participate in the program in Southern California, as many have already created their curricula for the spring of 2018. To address this, we have been instead reaching out to teachers for the Fall of 2018, which has led to some greater success in enlisting teachers, and thus schools. We have also retained the services of a globally-renowned educator for the fall of 2018. We are confident that this new approach will help us be even more effective!

As you know, Southern California is one of the regions with the greatest consumption of rhino horn in the US, so this has been our main focal point. However, due to our successful collaboration with the Bush Babies Educational program in South Africa, through our involvement with the women's Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit, we are going to be rolling out our curriculum in Limpopo Province of South Africa as well for high-school aged students. The implementation of the curriculum will change a bit given that South Africans are not end-users of rhino horn. The focus will shift a bit to be on the impacts of trade in rhino horn, which is a major focus of two of our curricula at present.

We are grateful to the 8 Primary and Middle schools in Southern California who have either participated or have signed on for next year!

Stay tuned, and thanks for all you've done to help us make this important effort to address demand for rhino horn at the source. If we are able to reduce demand, we can reduce the value of the horn, and thus the demand for poaching! Rhinos can then live without the dreadful pressure of poaching!

Rhinocation through Skype - Enthusiastic kids!
Rhinocation through Skype - Enthusiastic kids!

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Organization Information

Helping Rhinos USA

Location: Escondido, CA - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @HelpingRhinos
Project Leader:
James Danoff-Burg
Escondido, CA United States
$1,668 raised of $10,000 goal
17 donations
$8,332 to go
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