I have been so sad to read that one of the beautiful rhinos that I saw a few months ago at Shamwari has been killed by poachers. Her 22 month old calf was injured as well.
I don’t understand how people in some Asian countries could persist in the myth that keratin-based Rhino horns have any sort of medicinal value. Their greed and bad science is driving the small remaining rhino population to the brink of extension. The sad thing is, the problem is getting worse, not better. More rhinos have been poached in South Africa this year than last, and the numbers have been on an upward trajectory for quite some time.
I understand that poverty drives people to any number of actions to try to make money. However, these poaching incidents are driven by rich, powerful organized crime units. Tracking of rhinos and anti-poaching efforts of game wardens have gone high-tech, requiring poachers to be ever the more coordinated in the efforts. Yet what they do is gruesome and disgusting. It breaks my heart. I don’t know which of these rhinos was the victim of their latest atrocity, but I wanted to devote one more blog entry to recognizing their beauty.
It isn’t easy to be a rhino in the wild.
I hope they catch the criminal poachers.