This startup wants to end rhino poaching.
Everyone knows rhinos are in trouble due to poaching and the black market trade of their horns, but who's actually doing anything to stop it? Most people don't really even know how big the problem is. Since 2007, the number of rhinos killed in South Africa has multiplied by a hundred. Now, the startup Pembient wants to stop the slaughter of rhinos by fabricating their horns using 3D printers.
Basically, Pembient's plan is to sell their 3D printed horns (which are virtually indistinguishable from real ones as they're made using the same material) at a much lower cost. By flooding the market, Pembient thinks they can get sellers to discount the price of real horns -- and when their value goes down, people will lose interest in rhino horns as a status symbol and poachers will be forced to stop killing rhinos.
Not everyone agrees with Pembient's plan. Save The Rhino and The International Rhino Foundation argue that many horns on the market (over 90%) are already fake, which hasn't stopped poachers yet. While Pembient works on saving the world's rhinos, they're also branching out: their plan is to eventually use the same kind of 3D printing strategy to help curb the poaching of pangolins, elephants, and other endangered species as well.
(h/t Science Alert)