Posts Tagged With: rhino horn

Poaching: Its Killing More Than “Just Animals”

A reason to be concerned about the poaching crisis in Africa, besides the danger of extinction to elephants and rhinos, is the effect on people. At $19 billion per year, the illegal wildlife trade is a lucrative international crime.

EarthThe wildlife trade includes not only the slaughter of the elephant and rhino for their ivory and horns, but the slaughter of great apes and tigers for meat and pelts, as well as the smuggling of exotic birds and other animals for pet sales.

tusksPeople worldwide have turned to poaching as the desired moneymaker over other options, because the payoff is tremendous and the penalty is minimal; a criminal’s dream.  Rhino horns are worth more than cocaine or gold. Whereas the penalty is generally a fine and little or no jail time. Arrests often don’t even lead to convictions.

It is most often the average citizen poaching to support his family (not the organized higher-ups/kingpins) who gets caught.

Although poaching, which is part of the illegal wildlife trade, is ranked fifth in the world, it is used as a means to fund other criminal agendas, such as the top three (see above graphic).

Rebel and militia groups, criminal syndicates, and even terrorist organizations are using the lucrative black market  to finance their operations,

One example is The Lord’s Resistance Army, which has kidnapped hundreds of boys and girls across central Africa to be fighters and sex slaves, are participating in this illegal trade. Another is thought to be Janjaweed militia from Sudan, who allegedly killed 86 elephants (including pregnant females) in one week.

At one of the highest levels of the rhino horn trade chain, are the leaders of Asian run syndicates that monopolize the flow hornsof horn from South Africa to Asian markets. These individuals are the “kingpins” of the trade, often using different people to front as bogus hunters in rhino trophy hunts.

For a clearer picture of the process and the far-reaching implications of poaching and illegal wildlife trade, see the following IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) graphic:

IFAW: The Implications of the Illegal Wildlife Trade

In addition to funding the sex trade, drug cartels and terrorist groups,  poaching activity puts wildlife officials and their families in mortal danger as well. There have been at least 1,000 park rangers killed in 35 different countries over the last decade alone.

Every 15 minutes an elephant is killed.

Each day, 2-3 rhino are slaughtered.

At least 1 tiger a day is butchered.

Of course there’s no way to tell how many people die as a result from the poaching and trade, directly or indirectly through funding of the other lucrative crime it supports.

With far-reaching consequences to human and animal life, as well as the environment, we as individuals need to demand our governments bring an end to the organizations behind this tragedy. Once our animals go extinct, it won’t be long until it is our turn.

ele and rhino friends“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”
Chief Seattle

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The Nightmare Continues

600 poachedTragically, still four and a half months til the end of the year….

Interestingly-there is a dispute in the precise number-somewhere between 592-600. Either way-too many 😦

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Extinction is Forever

Gone rhino

     Do you remember the story of the dolphin caught in a net who lost his tail? He was fitted with a prosthetic one.
People banned together to make it happen. They even made a movie about it.

What about Prada the pitbull who faced euthanasia? Her life was saved after an outpouring of public support.
There were multiple petitions. I signed one, actually I probably signed a couple.

It’s uplifting to see people come together, especially to rescue the helpless or injured creatures of the
world. In fact it renews my faith in humanity.

But what about when the survival of an entire species depends on us? What do we do? When does someone come
running to help then? We are witnessing the intentional annihilation of a species. The extinction of the rhino
is 100% preventable. We brought the Bald Eagle back from the brink of extinction. We’ve done this before, we CAN
do it again. The more of us who KNOW, the more of us will CARE. When we care, we can act upon it.

Incase any of you still wonder “Why should I care if an animal in another part of the world goes extinct?”, let me tell you. Firstly the rhino is an “umbrella” species, meaning the survival of their species effects other species, and the ecosystem.   Destroying them will start a domino effect in the environment. Secondly we have a moral responsibility to our planet, as well as to future generations.  WE brought them to the edge of extinction, it is OUR duty to bring them back. And lastly when they’re gone, who’s next?  What other species will we destroy?

If you’re still reading, hopefully you’re caring. So the next question is
What can I do?”

#1 Look for petitions to tell “the powers that be” we will not stand by and let you murder these magnificent creatures. There are tons of petition sites online. You’d be hardpressed to NOT find one. (I would be all to happy to send you some on your email. You only need to ask:)

#2 If you go on safari (or any trips involving animals) share your concern with the travel agency. Be sure not to give tourist dollars to any groups or communities supporting cruelty.

#3 Donate to conservation efforts when you can. I have listed a few of my personal favorites on this site, but there are many others.

#4 Be aware of what you buy. As a consumer you have an immense impact. For example: Nutella is made from palm oil. Demand for palm oil is leading to loss of habitat and destruction to the orangutans.

#5 Probably the easiest thing: spread the word! Rhino horn is NOT medicine, rhinos are endangered and close to extinction.

Categories: Making a Difference, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Feeding Baby

BBC host bottlefeeds baby rhino

BBC host bottlefeeds baby rhino

To watch the video go to:

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Thandi’s Story

Thandi found poached.

Thandi found poached.

Thandi recovered.

Thandi recovered.

Amidst the hundreds of rhinos slaughtered in 2012, one rhino beat the odds. Her name is Thandi.

In early March of 2012 three rhinos were found poached in the Kariega Game Reserve. One immediately
died. The remaining two made it through the night. The survivors-Thandi (meaning love) and Themba
(meaning hope) were tended to with intense veterinary care.

Unfortunately after 24 days, Themba died.

Thandi lived. She fought a long, painful battle, but miraculously recovered. She lives without a
horn, without her companions, but she lives with hope. Perhaps the one thing that almost killed her
(having a horn) will now be her salvation.

To follow more about Thandi’s story go to http://www.helpingrhinos.org or http://www.kariega.co/about-us/help-save-our-rhino-project

Categories: Rhino Ramblings, Rhino Spotlight | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

The Clock is Ticking

January 7, 2013

4…FOUR rhinos slaughtered already, only seven days into the year. As I sit in my warm house,
a continent away these creatures are living every second in peril. Poachers have brought these
animals to the brink of extinction. Yet they can’t be solely blamed.

It’s a matter of what people value. We live in a throw-away, impulsive society. Everyone wants
the quick fix, the immediate answer. The greedy value the almighty dollar more than their own
lives, certainly far more than the life of a rhino. And the desperate value the supposedly
medicinal fix from the horn. With the demand from China growing, the cost on a rhino’s head is
growing as well-currently $65,000 a kilo.

Rhinos have existed for 50 million years, yet in just the last 30 years, 90% have been wiped out.

2012 was the deadliest year for the rhinos with reports of 633-668 killed in South Africa alone.

Ridiculous, insane, but this IS real. This is a worldwide tragedy. How many of us see the
big picture? How soon before the rhino is extinct? And the scary question-who’s next?

rhino graphic 2

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