Posts Tagged With: Belgium

The Photo Seen Around the World

You want to see rhinos on your holiday? Vacation to Kruger National Park, South Africa-home to 90% of the world’s remaining rhino.

With promise of witnessing Africa’s Big 5, that’s just what a group of Belgium tourists did. On final days of the trip, having seen everything BUT a rhino, they were excited to finally see one of these beautiful elusive rhino come galloping poached rhino in krugerout of the bush, only to realize…

it was moving very slowly towards the vehicle, and when I got the pictures, I looked over my photo equipment and noticed the rhino’s horns were missing.”

“At that moment everybody got very emotional and the rhino disappeared back into the bush. It was at that moment we realised we were seeing something that has never happened before. It’s very emotional for all of us. I couldn’t stop crying. You can’t stop crying when you see something that outrageous”, said Louis Dillen, one of the tourists on the safari.

Horrible, heartbreaking, devastating to bear witness to…BUT is there a bright side to this brutality?

One of the tourists was the personal aide to the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister,Johan Maricou . After the incident, Maricou expressed outrage, stating

 “I urge the South African government to put this at the top of their agenda.”

“…South Africa carries a certain responsibility. But without international co-operation and agreements, especially with Asian countries where the demand is mostly, this is a very difficult issue.”

With poaching rearing its ugly head directly in the face of tourists, especially one so closely connected in the political community, this is a wake-up call. If Kruger, or South Africa itself, wants to continue making profit from tourism, things Must change.

Belgium is aware and watching, and after the photo went viral this past week, so is the rest of the world.

Fresh off the London Summit on Wildlife Trafficking, where 50 countries attended to get serious about putting an end to illegal trafficking, this may be another push toward change.

As horrific and haunting as this must have been, she is one of thousands who have been slaughtered over the last several years;  2-3 a day, every day.

rhino poaching graph 2013

In 2014, there have been an additional 163 poachings so far (OSCAP).

Please be a part of the change. Read, sign and share this petition/proposal to the South African government:              Dehorned Rhino in Kruger: Enough is Enough 

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rhinos Wanted: Dead or Alive

The hottest thing on the black market: the rhino horn. Rhino are being poached at the rate of one every nine hours. The National Parks are not safe, rhino farms are on constant guard, even the Rhino Orphanage was attacked.

The crisis is so widespread, that even dead rhino are a target. The horn is stolen, whether  it is attached to a stuffed rhino or simply a lone specimen. Museums throughout Europe are under threat; Sweden, Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and England have all been hit.

Some of the specimens have been around since the 1900s, but regardless of age and origin, a horn is a horn. Just one can fetch $40,000 to $300,000 on the black market.

The latest heist was in The National Museum of Ireland warehouse. Fearing theft, the museum had the horns removed and placed in storage last year. But in April, the guard at the location was overpowered and the horns were taken anyhow.

According to Europol, it is believed that an Irish organized crime group is responsible. Antique dealers, auction houses, art galleries, museums, private collectors and zoos are all under threat. Although this has not yet become a widespread problem in America, Europol says there IS similar activity in North America.

From January 2011 through November 2012 there were 67 European thefts and 15 attempts.

A taxidermist saws off the horn of a rhino at a Swiss museum to prevent theft attempts.

A taxidermist saws off the horn of a rhino at a Swiss museum to prevent theft attempts.

A "dummy" horn is painted in place of the one removed.

A “dummy” horn is painted in place of the one removed.

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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