The Plight of the Rhino
By Martina Kwenda
The endangerment of the Rhino is on a league its own, the
damage is so extreme its heart-breaking. The are 5 types of Rhino’s and the
Black Rhino is listed as Critical endangered. Only a century ago, there were
about 500,000 rhinos now they are fewer than 30,000. This means that since
about 1919, we’ve lost over 471,000 rhinos mostly, to make bogus medicine. 5
100 Rhinos are believed to be lost and 50% of that from Kruger
Rhinos are solitary animals so the odds are already against
them with poachers who are the biggest threat to Rhino’s. In the wild they
actually have no immediate threat because of their huge bodies, strong horns
and thick, armour-like skin.
Amazingly these beasts are seen with Oxpeckers (or ‘tick
birds’) perched on their back, which live off the pesky parasitic insects
living in the rhino’s thick skin. The birds’ loud cries also help alert their
big buddies of potential danger, too! Nevertheless, these brilliant beasts get frightened
easily! When they feel threatened, they’re instinct is to charge directly at
whatever has spooked them whether it be another animal or a harmless object!
The rate or the way in which they are killed mostly for the
black-market is alarming. Government in Africa are rarely helpful as due to
poverty they are likely to let poaching slide for some money. The sad thing is Baby
Rhino’s end up as orphans because someone killed their mother or they get
separated from them when they are running away from poachers. So, its upto
organisation like World Wildlife Fund and Hemmersbach Rhino Force and Zambezi
Black Rhino Project to help with funding from donators.
If only the tables could be turned and the hunters became
the hunted justice would be served. Karma comes interestingly when you hear of poachers
are then mulled by a pack of lions this happened once in Kruger National Park.
Once upon a time there were legal ways to get the horns but illegally because
the black-market trade was so successful that the rhino is close to extinction.
I don’t understand though why they have to kill them to just get the horns?
Thankfully now Game Reserves and Save the Rhino “campaigners
now have Anti-Poaching schemes like the Chirundu Anti-poaching project amongst
others. The cleverest thing that’s now being done is safely removing the horns
and keep them safe so the animals can live longer because without the horn
there will be no reason to kill them.
Adopt a Rhino Orphan @ www.helpingrhinos.org