Rhino Horn Guidance for Museums

NatSCA guidance for rhino horn in museum collections in light of recent thefts:

  1. This is an area that has implications for the safety of people and objects. We recommend that a security audit is carried out and if your material is not secure it should be taken off display and put in a secure location.
  2. If you are worried about holding on to rhino horn then you should either put it in a more secure location at your site or dispose of it (either by loan or permanently) to another museum willing to take it on. This would probably be a museum that already looks after rhino horn.
  3. Rhino material should not be destroyed. Apart from the obvious problems of destroying museum material, there are good scientific reasons for maintaining rhino horn for future research that can tie in to conservation efforts. A guide might be taken from national parks in South Africa where rangers lock up rhino horn rather than destroy it.
  4. NatSCA does not advise on value, but for insurance valuation purposes auction houses can provide some guidance
  5. Do not publicise your rhino material. Thefts have targeted rhino horn that is on display or has been publicised in some way.
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