A good question? Or a ridiculous question? Either way you look at it, many are asking it. Why should we save the Rhino? What has he done that deserves saving? Why not save the child, our own kind? Save the bee. After all they do more good for the environment, right? Hey, save the good ole cockroach. He has some environmentally friendly properties.
And, they would all be very good causes, for sure. But, let us think on these other facts for a moment.
There roams the rhino, and you can find them in game reserves like Thanda Safari, and further afield. But, wherever you go, you will be made very aware of the plight of one of our big five.
Reasons to Save the Rhino
The Human Factor
The reason the rhino is about to go extinct is because of humans, so it stands to reason that we should be the ones who should save them. Yes, you cannot paint all humans with the same brush, not all of us had a hand in the demise of the rhino, but we all can do something about it.
The heavy poaching that is going on across the world, for the sole aim of selling the rhino’s horns on for so called medical gain, is pretty much the main culprit.
Environmentally Friendly Little Guy
And, yes, like the bee and the cockroach, the rhino has its place in the environment too. They are good conservationists, in that they ensure the plant growth does not overgrow. By doing their walk around, depositing their seed-dispersing dung, they are assisting with the growth of further flora across the land.
Providing for his fellow beasts
Ever watched how a rhino digs around in the dirt with its horn? Ever wondered what he was doing? Well, he is foraging, and because of that he brings up some healthy minerals, which later will be utilised by other animals. In addition, he has symbiotic relationships with other life, such as the Egret bird. The Egret is as essential to the rhino as the rhino is to the Egret. The bird picks off ticks from the rhino’s skin, which he would not have been able to reach; and the rhino provides food for the Egret.
Tourism is a big income booster for South Africa and the rhino is a big draw card. Many folk from across the waters, not to mention many a South African, haven’t seen a rhino, and if they don’t hurry, they might never. There are many places within South Africa where one can go on a safari to see the majestic rhino and other Big Five animals. A tour operator, like Safari.com specializes in such packages.
So, while, yes, their horns are worth a pretty penny, the rhinos, as living animals are also worth a lot to the economy.
How can you Help to Save the Rhino?
You may not think that, without following a protest or strike, that you are pretty useless in the predicament of our tough beast, but you would be wrong.
There are many ways to get the message across to the nation and the world as a whole that we need to save our previous rhino.
And, here’s how …
- 1. Spread the Word and Educate
The myth attached to the rhino horn is just that – a myth. But the Asians need to understand and believe that, or they will keep with their poaching. If we can convince the source that its complete bogus, then the actual poachers on this side will not have a reason to poach. No need for the horn – no reason to hunt. You can do this by petitioning and sending your voice to the powers that be in Asia.
- 2. De-horn the Rhino
Not a favourite of mine, but it would discourage the poachers from poaching. Well, to some extent, because you cannot actually remove the entire horn form the rhino’s head. You have to leave the root in, which, according to the Asians, is where all the goodness lies. So, if the poacher decides that its too much trouble to remove just a wee part of the horn, then we have stopped one killing, but there are others that just don’t care, and will slaughter even for this small piece.
- 3. Protect Protect Protect
Upping our game in the light of protecting the rhino requires manpower as well as better equipment. There are quite a few anti-poaching rangers, but not enough. The poachers have become quite smart in their endeavours to get into the game reserves as well as when and how they manage to get to the rhinos. But, with better more technologically advanced equipment and apparatus, we can protect our rhino more efficiently. This requires funds; so if you see a fundraiser for this effort, please contribute.
- 4. Raise the Fine and Jail Time
The fine and jail time is steep, but it needs to be higher, and more dissuadable, enough to make them really think a few times before pulling that trigger.
With your help, you can raise awareness and push harder for higher jail time.
As, you can see, with some effort and voice, one can make a difference to our darling rhinoceros. Every little bit counts, so choose your method and help keep the rhino in our game reserves and in the African wild.