“Not on my watch” was the phrase South African Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa used in reference to the possibility of rhinos going extinct in the country. The Minister, who’s idea of saving them is to propose legal trade in rhino horn, has been highly criticized for the governments handling of poaching.
So, the slaughter continues. Over 230 killed just three months into the year, according to OSCAP (Outraged SA Citizens Against Poaching).
Although rangers and anti-poaching strategies continue to keep rhinos alive, there’s still the nagging “What if…”
After all, only a handful of Javan Rhinos are left with virtually no chance at a comeback, there are only 3 Northern Whites on the planet and the Western white rhino has vanished.
Living on the edge of extinction in South Africa, so what if we MOVE them; somewhere “safer”?
A recent initiative is doing just that. The Australian Rhino Project is flying 20 rhinos a year (a total of 80) from South Africa to a zoo in the southern part of the Outback.
The real estate agent who has proposed the project (at a cost of $75,000 per rhino), believes “Australia is one of the safest places on the planet to start this breeding herd, with the eventual intention that they would be repatriated to Africa when those [poaching] issues are sorted out.”
What seemed a foolhardy endeavor three years ago, is now on the verge of reality. It remains to be seen if the dreams of safekeeping and breeding will come to fruition, but with the rate of rhino death greater than the number born, perhaps it’s not so far-fetched after all.
What do you think?