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Wednesday, April 17, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Black Rhinoceros Horn Sales Lead to Charges

WASHINGTON (CN) - Federal prosecutors on Thursday charged a New Hampshire man over his allegedly illegal sale of a black rhinoceros head mount to an undercover agent.

Ari B. Goldenberg, 46, of Milton, N.H., was charged with seeking to profit from the sale of a black rhinoceros head mount he acquired for less than $1,000.

Prosecutors say he illegally sold the mount to an undercover special agent of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for $35,000.

Goldenberg also faces one count of providing the undercover agent with a falsified receipt for the sale of the mount.

The Justice Department has named its effort to hutting down the illegal rhinoceros trade Operation Crash, using the term given for a herd of rhinoceros.

Some Chinese people believe that drinking from rhinoceros horn cups with bring good health. The giant, prehistoric beasts are protected by U.S. and international laws. More than 90 percent of wild rhino populations have been slaughtered illegally since the 1970s, because of the price their horns can bring, the Justice Department says.

"South Africa, for example, has witnessed a rapid escalation in poaching of live animals, rising from 13 in 2007 to more than 618 in 2012," prosecutors said in a previous statement.

Humans are the only predator of the rhinoceros, and increasing demand has helped fuel a thriving black market that includes fake antiques made from recently hunted rhinoceros, prosecutors have said.

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