WARNING! Rhino Thieves: CIC Warns Museums And Owners Of Rhino Hunting Trophies CIC Press Release Rhino thieves are on the road. Internationally active gangs steal rhino trophies from hunting and natural history museums - cases are reported from Germany, Great Britain, Italy and South Africa. The stolen horns are obviously smuggled to Southeast Asia, where the horn is used for medical purposes, although there is no scientific evidence of their medical effectiveness. The International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) has warned all hunting and private museums with rhino trophies. Also Africa-hunters who possess such trophies should be careful. Precautions against theft are advised. Legal owners are warned against offers to purchase trophies. All rhinos are on Appendix I of CITES, and the horn trade is banned internationally and will be prosecuted. Taxidermists should also be warned and should alert their national authorities, if the casting of horns and demand of fibre glass copies are ordered. This could be for the preparation of illegal sales. Sustainable hunting has greatly contributed to the population increase of the once almost extinct white rhino in southern Africa to over 20,000 animals. Even individual black rhinos may be hunted in South Africa and Namibia under CITES permits, since the hunting revenues are used for species conservation. "Controlled hunting has played a significant role in the conservation of rhinos and this must continue," said CIC President Bernard Lozé during the CIC General Assembly in St. Petersburg in May, at which increasing rhino poaching was discussed. In view of the current enormous increase of poaching, possibilities of a monitored and regulated trade by CITES should be analysed.