“How to save rhinos? By turning their dung into paper.”
A small factory in India may have found a way to save rhinos! With a very innovative, outlandish method, Mahesh Bora uses rhino dung, in addition to bits of old hosiery and water, to make paper. That’s right, paper. Believe it or not, rhino dung adds fiber to the paper, and “Bora says the whole enterprise will help save the endangered Asian one-horned rhinoceros” (Chhavi Sachdev, PRI 2015). Poaching and sprawl is quickly depleting the small population of rhinos in Asia. Bora’s idea is that creating an economic dependence on the animals could save the rhino population and encourage people to save the animals rather abuse them. His business, ElRhino, started in his wife’s kitchen blender and now has about 50 employees. “The dung is easy to find; when a rhinos find a good place to poop, they tend to return there for at least 10 days. And they drop a lot of it, maybe 900 pounds or so in one spot” (Chhavi Sachdev, PRI 2015). Bora has already made a difference in local attitudes toward the rhinos and is continuing to grow by involving entire villages in the making of the paper, lamp shades, calendars, notebooks and other decorative paper. ElRhino’s paper products are even being sold in Europe and each includes a message about rhino conservation. Check out the article here.