4 min read

Airport Security Finds Saddest Thing Stashed In Suitcase

This has to stop 💔

It was a chilling discovery that left animal lovers heartbroken.

Earlier this month at Ataturk Airport in Turkey, security officers were alerted to a passenger flying in from Vietnam who had series of suspicious past travels in his records.

When the officers detained the passenger upon his arrival and searched his luggage, they found a creepy collection of sawed-off rhino horns. Nearly 75 pounds of the smuggled goods were recovered overall — worth an estimated $2.2 million on the black market.

Now, a full investigation has been launched into the suspect to locate where exactly the horns came from, and where they were headed once the man landed in Turkey.

Although the idea that rhino horns have medicinal qualities has been widely disproven, some communities still believe in this myth — which in turn fuels demand for horns and continues to tear rhino families apart. The horns are simply made of keratin, the same protein that makes up human teeth and fingernails.


Unfortunately, this seizure is just one recent incident of many in the ongoing fight against rhino poachers, who illegally hunt these endangered animals to steal and later sell their horns. Some rhinos are attacked by poachers and suffer for days before they eventually die from their injuries; other rhinos are killed  immediately and mutilated for their horns — sometimes even in front of their babies.

Being a baby rhino in the wild without a mom can become a death sentence due to starvation or predators. That’s just the fate that one young rhino named Davi almost met earlier this year, when poachers killed his mother for her horns.

The heartbroken calf was found by rescuers from The Rhino Orphanage in South Africa, and he now lives there among other orphaned calves. He spent his first hours there crying out in desperation, likely looking for his mother. His spirits have improved since, thanks to the company of other young calves like him.

“Davi still wanders off to a quiet corner and calls [out] occasionally,” his caretakers said. “But he likes the closeness of his new companions.”

rhino orphanage
Davi with one of his caretakers | The Rhino Orphanage

While the investigation into this large-scale seizure and the suspect is still ongoing, officials hope that they can trace the horns back to the source, which would uncover more details about the operation that was trying to sell them.

To support anti-poaching initiatives and the ongoing care of Davi the rhino calf, you can make a donation to The Rhino Orphanage.
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