Just back from Kenya. What an amazing experience-getting to see, hear and live the culture I’ve heard so much about! I’ve learned new things, made new friends, and of course was “over the moon” seeing all the magnificent wildlife I love so much.
My prized memory was at Ol Pejeta; seeing a black rhino in the distance. After a bit, he came galloping out of the bush at us. He stood there for minute or so as if sizing us up, then turned and ran back. It was incredible.
There were a few rhino in the Lake Nakuru area as well. But, having been to Samburu, Amboseli, and Masaai Mara, the one disturbing theme was “There used to be rhinos here.” There are now none in Samburu or Amboseli, and rare spottings in the Mara.
With poaching stats at almost 800 for this year alone, it’s no wonder they’re so hard to find. Being there in person, and searching so eagerly for them, it really brought it home-they are living on borrowed time.
There’s no time to debate or discuss trade, no time to hope CITES comes around and enacts sanctions on the guilty countries responsible for demanding the slaughter of a species. Certainly no time for rhino activists to argue and squabble amongst themselves.
Action is needed. Poisoning the horn to prevent poaching should be widespread (see: Rhino Rescue Project ) “Shoot to kill” needs to be the universal policy. More community incentives need to be in place to encourage the people to care for their own wildlife; like the Lowveld Rhino Trust has done (see: Zimbabwe Leads the Way)
Less talk, more action; the clock is ticking!