Policymakers need to proceed with caution when it comes to legalising rhino horn as it could be a high risk strategy.
The rhino horn auction in South Africa is a serious setback in the fight against poaching and the survival of wild rhinos. The chances of the horns remaining in the country are next to zero.
The $4m cost is almost double the anti-poaching budget for South African National Parks.
Initiatives to curb rhino poaching in the Kruger National Park has shown improvement compared to last year. But poaching in other parks has increased.
Rhino horn trade is a hotly contested topic. Proponents believe it can aid conservation efforts. But those in opposition believe it will cause poaching to increase.
A few national parks and reserves want to dehorn rhinos and there is a lobby for a regulated and closely monitored legal trade in rhino horn. But this is met by opposition from many.