Tag Archives: World Rhino Day

World Rhino Day 2018

The rhino poaching scourge continues to make headlines in South Africa, and the happiness at hearing about the ranger’s regular successes in the fight is often tempered by horrible news of another mass-killing incident, insider involvement or botched prosecution. With a 26% reduction in the number of rhinos killed in the first 8 months of 2018 compared to the previous year there’s reason to be optimistic that this year, like 2015, 2016 & 2017, will see a reduction in the number of animals lost and an increase in the number of perpetrators that were apprehended.

This year, on World Rhino Day, let us appreciate and celebrate these prehistoric-looking behemoths, with thanks to the army of dedicated rangers, soldiers and volunteers fighting the war to keep them safe.

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World Rhino Day

Today is World Rhino Day.

The statistics on the number of rhinos being killed in South Africa for their horn continues to make for heart-wrenching reading. We continue to loose hundreds of black and white rhinos annually to supply an illegal black market demand from Asian countries.

But the war continues. The brave rangers working daily to protect our natural heritage have not yet given up hope, and neither should we. We’ll continue to do our part to spread the word that rhino horn has no medicinal properties, and by rights should really not be worth any more than fingernails!

Let us celebrate these prehistoric-looking beasts for the magnificent beings that they are, deserving of a place on this planet for eternity.

 

World Rhino Day 2016

The 22nd of September is World Rhino Day, a day to reflect on the large-scale slaughter these enigmatic animals are facing due to human greed and superstitious culture.

For the first time in years there is a reason for cautious optimism, with the South African Ministry of Environmental Affairs announcing on the 11th of September that, despite an enormous increase in the number of poaching incursions into the Kruger National Park, there has been an almost 18% decline in the number of rhinos killed by poachers in the period January to August in South Africa’s flagship Park, rightly attributed to the never-ending efforts of dedicated rangers and other people in law enforcement. Still, the 458 carcasses found in Kruger so far this year (compared to 557 for the same 8 month period last year) is a terrifying number, and it is even worse when considering that in our country as a whole at least 702 rhinos have been killed this year, bringing the total lost since the scourge started escalating in 2007 within sight of the 6,000 mark.

Today is also another chance to express our deep gratitude to those brave men and women out in the bush, fighting a war against the decimation of our wildlife, putting their lives on the line so that black and white rhinos remain a feature of Africa’s natural heritage for generations to come.

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A couple of de-horned White Rhinoceros in the Rietvlei Nature Reserve. De-horning is a drastic and costly measure to protect the animals, and sadly only a practical option in smaller populations.

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World Rhino Day 2015

How long do we have left to appreciate our rhinos in their natural environment?

Will Joubert be able to take his children to a South African game reserve and show them what a real, live rhino looks like?

Would the citizens of the countries driving the slaughter of our rhinos to satisfy their fallacious beliefs even care about what they stole from Africa’s children?

World Rhino Day is upon us again, and as every year before for almost the last decade the future for these spectacular creatures seem even more bleak.

Figures published by South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs at the end of August 2015 indicated a minimum of 749 rhinos lost to poaching in South Africa for the year to date, 544 of which in the flagship Kruger National Park. A recent poaching incident in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park pushed the total lost in Kwazulu-Natal Province this year to 75. This follows on the loss of a staggering 3,900+ rhinos in this country alone to the end of 2014, since the poaching scourge started escalating in 2007 .

Still, there are many individuals and organisations investing enormous effort and resources into ensuring these charismatic animals are protected for future generations, and they deserve our respect and support. According to DEA at the time of their release, 138 poachers have been arrested in the Kruger Park this year, many of them heavily armed and only apprehended after exchanging fire with rangers and military personnel. The costly process of translocating rhinos out of high-danger zones to areas where they are thought to be more secure, is continuing. South African National Parks invested large sums donated by the Howard G Buffet Foundation, Peace Parks Foundation, and private donors into the purchasing of helicoptersall-terrain vehicles and other equipment to ensure that the Kruger Park’s rangers have the resources they need to face this onslaught on the wildlife in a Park bigger than many sovereign countries. Involving the communities living around reserves where rhino occur is pivotal to success, exemplified by SANParks’ liaison with Christian churches and iSimangaliso Wetland Park and their partners’ “Rhino Walk” taking place between 7 September and 2 October, during which they’ll visit 75 schools with thousands of learners. Fighting rhino poaching requires a multi-faceted approach, which is why iSimangaliso have also recently de-horned the entire rhino population on the Western Shores of Lake Saint Lucia, and publicised this widely.

Had it not been for these, and many more, dedicated people, and their tireless efforts, the situation undoubtedly would have been far worse still.

The war has not yet been lost.

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Is there a reason for this white rhino to look so despondent on World Rhino Day?

World Rhino Day 2014

Is there a reason for this white rhinoceros to look so despondent on World Rhino Day? Ponder for a moment on the thought that there’s a good chance this white rhino, that we encountered in the Kruger National Park in August this year, may not be roaming around the wilderness anymore. There’s a good chance this rhino has been killed, its carcass left to rot under the African sun while its horns have already been ground to a fine powder somewhere in Asia.

The 22nd of September is World Rhino Day, a day to reflect on the large-scale slaughter these enigmatic animals are facing due to human greed and superstitious culture. This year alone, South Africa has already lost more than 769 rhinos to poaching (that was the figure as at 12/09/2014), following from 1004 in 2013, 668 in 2012, 448 in 2011, 333 in 2010.., well, the trend is clear.

It is also another chance to express our deep gratitude to those brave men and women out in the bush, fighting a war against the decimation of our wildlife, putting their lives on the line so that black and white rhinos remain a feature of Africa’s natural heritage for generations to come.

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World Rhino Day 2013

There are people who look at this face and notice only the horns. They believe, despite ample evidence to the contrary, that it can cure a host of ailments and they are willing to pay huge sums of money to get it. Even more ridiculously the ability to acquire these horns is in itself being seen as a symbol of wealth and status, something to aspire to. They don’t care that this animal will be savagely killed and disfigured so that they can consume a product that has no more curative powers than their own hair and fingernails, and then even boast about it!

World Rhino Day 2013

World Rhino Day 2013

There are people who look at this face and notice the eyes. The eyes of an animal that has been on this planet much longer than we have.  We count ourselves among these people. We believe that this animal has just as much of a right to live on this planet as humans do. We believe the world will be an emptier, less beautiful place if this animal is no longer around. We want this animal to share this planet with many more generations of humans to come. Some of us even put their own lives on the line on a daily basis to achieve this goal.

This year alone, South Africa has already lost more than 635 rhinos to poaching (2013/09/13 Department of Environmental Affairs). Last year, a total of 668 fell to the poachers’ bullets in this country alone. There are many people and organisations working tirelessly to prevent poaching and to educate people around the world, often at great cost and risk to themselves, and if it weren’t for their efforts we have no doubt that the situation would have been much more dire still.

Click on the World Rhino Day poster below if you’d like to learn more about what people and organisations around the world are doing to secure the future of the five species of rhinoceros we share this planet with.

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World Rhino Day 2012

South Africa is home to both species of African rhinoceros: the extremely aggressive black rhino and the much more placid white rhino. Encountering either species during our visits to our country’s wild places is always a thrilling experience and losing these beautiful beasts forever, due to human greed and superstition, is a thought too terrible to ponder.

As I post these images I cannot help but wonder whether the individual animals they depict are still alive and well?

The 22nd of September 2012 is internationally celebrated as World Rhino Day. The message that rhinoceros horn holds no curative or aphrodisiac properties needs to be spread loud and clear so that the market for rhino horn can be wiped out, and it cannot happen soon enough. There are many people from all over the world and from all walks of life working tirelessly, and even putting their own lives in the firing line, to protect these magnificent creatures from savage poachers, but the onslaught from the organised crime syndicates continue unabated – so far this year we’ve lost at least 381 rhinoceros through poaching in South Africa alone (according to the official figures published in September 2012).

Please lend your support by spreading the message of World Rhino Day to the world.