Man 'astounded' after discovering 'sawn-off rhino horn' in Cornwall cave

A man from Cornwall was left 'astounded' after finding what is thought to be a sawn-off rhino horn in a cave near his home.

John Roundhill from Polperro made the bizarre discovery in Willy Wolcox Cave.

"I was showing some visitors the cave at low tide when I discovered a sawn-off rhino horn wedged into a crevice", he said.

“My friend who used to live in Africa and still has plenty of contact over there contacted rangers who confirmed it was from a rhino.

“I was astounded, frankly, that it was here and, I admit, a little disgusted that it had been sawn off of an animal."

John said all the information he managed to gather suggests his finding was a rhino’s posterior horn.

He added: "It's certainly the first time I have ever discovered anything remotely like this on the beach.

"It doesn't look like it's been in the water for months and months. There are no barnacles or algae. It's a bit damaged on the top. But it just begs the question how it got there?"

"I took it to the police in case they had any ongoing investigations into animal poaching or ivory smuggling - that kind of thing. But they didn't. The plan is to give to animal charity so it can be disposed of appropriately."

The rhino horn measures about 20 centimetres in diameter at the base and about 11cm in height.

Charity Save the Rhino says there has been an increase in global demand for rhino horns Credit: BPM Media

Charity Save the Rhino told ITV West Country: "This find is quite unusual.

"We do not believe this horn is from a recently poached animal. We cannot obviously see any axe or saw marks and the base of the horn seems to have a complete circumference.

It could be that this horn has come off of a trophy mount, or it has come off of a rhino that died naturally.

"Of course, the key question is where did the horn come from? And, how did it get to the cave? Only thorough testing would help to provide an answer to this.

"The demand for rhino horn, to our knowledge, is not increasing. Nevertheless, approximately 548 rhinos were poached in Africa last year.

"This is because there continues to be a demand for rhino horn in Vietnam and China, mainly as a symbol of wealth and status, and within Traditional Chinese Medicine."