Peter Gwin, National Geographic staff writer

by | Mar 21, 2012

Peter Gwin–the award-winning staff writer at National Geographic magazine, whose article in the March issue, “Rhino Wars,” examines the current state of rhinos & rhino poaching in South Africa and other regions–traces his path from Georgia native to globe-trotting journalist, filing from far-flung locations.

(c) Brent Stirton/National Geographic

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He also recounts how he came to explore and tell the rhino poaching story, guided by colleague Brent Stirton, a South African photographer with whom he’d collaborated on other articles–and who shot the stunning photos that accompany Gwin’s extraordinary, deeply-reported piece. Gwin discusses the dramatic surge in recent years of rhino poaching in those areas, propelled by the exploding black market trade of rhino trade–1000 rhinos killed since 2006–and how this tale involves Vietnam (rhino horn is highly valued in traditional Asian medicines, and more recently touted as a cure for cancer). Other elements figuring into this rich, complex saga include crime syndicates, horrible episodes of poachers brutally sawing off horns from the rhinos whether or not they’ve shot the animals first, colorful characters–including John Hume, who operates rhino farms with the express purpose of harvesting their horns in a careful procedure while the rhinos are alive–and more. (

ALSO: We had a brief conversation with Art Fyvolent, spokesperson for the then-pending Party Like A Pinup, a party extravaganza to be held March 24, and also serving as a benefit for Pinups For Pitbulls and other pitbull-oriented organizations. (,

COMEDY CORNER: Eddie Izzard “Fox Hunting/Fly Hunting” (portion/DS edit) (

MUSIC: The Starlight Mints’ “Rhino Stomp,” Miike Snow’s “Animal,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: The Specials’ version of “Monkey Man”

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