2006, that was the last year anyone has seen Africa’s Western Black Rhinoceros. That will be that last time anyone will ever see the species alive again. This past week the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced that the animal had been obliterated from the planet, declaring the species officially extinct.
The population declined due to a spike in demand for rhinoceros horn. Rhino horn is an extremely dense formation of keratin, which is the same primary component of human nails and hair. In some cultures they are believed to have aphrodisiac and medicinal qualities. In traditional Chinese medicine, rhino horn is used for fevers, convulsions, rheumatism, gout, and other ailments. Recently, the rumor is that it cures cancer. Scientifically though, a bowl of ground up rhinoceros horn is not that different from a bowl of ground up human hair and fingernail clippings.