Jackie Chan and Spike the 6,300-pound white rhino have an important message: "Never buy products made from rhino horn. When the buying stops, the killing can too."
In "Tools of the Trade," from the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and WildAid, Chan reminds us of the dangers rhinos face as a species. This PSA, along with another message from WildAid, was shown February 13 to a group of government leaders gathering in London to discuss new measures to counter wildlife trafficking.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, very few rhinos survive outside national parks and reserves. In fact, the white rhino was saved from near extinction, the black rhino is vulnerable, and the Asian Javan and Sumatran rhinos are critically endangered.
The rhino population has significantly declined due to the poaching of their horns to make things like jambiya dagger handles, and traditional Asian medicine. Yet using the horn for medicinal purposes likely only has a placebo effect since the horn is made of keratin -- the same stuff as in our hair and fingernails.
Sadly, many people still believe in the rhino horn's medicinal effects, and an AFW and WildAid survey in China found that 66.9 percent of participants did not know that rhino horn comes from poached rhinos.
AWF and WildAid's Say No Campaign. aims to educate people in these matters, and to curtail the buying of rhino horn products.
Remember, when you buy rhino horns, you are paying for more than just horns. "You are paying for guns, bullets, arrows, chainsaws, axes and machetes to hack off the face of the rhino, and you are paying for the life of a beautiful creature," Chan says in the video.
This article has been updated to reflect that WildAid was also a partner in the Jackie Chan PSA.