Africa’s magnificent armoured beast
The African Rhino
An armoured beast
Now is that not a magnificent sight? It reaches this size on a herbivorous diet and generally weighs up to a ton or more and has a very thick protective skin. Left alone it can live up to 60 years or more. Unlike the author of this piece it has acutely sensitive hearing and smell, but suffers from very poor eyesight. Therein lies its vulnerability. If one can get down wind of this animal then one can get very close to it indeed.
In today’s world then poachers who never had the real means to kill or maim this beast, now have access to modern weapons. Furthermore there is a lack of funding by governments to help and train their wardens in eradicating poachers. It’s a lucrative trade and when you are poor to start with and somebody offers you money, which by ordinary standards is not very great, but by your standards, it’s riches. Perhaps then one can understand how many people are willing to do this?
Image courtesy of Mister-E’s photostream
They kill the Rhino for its horn.
Nothing else that’s it.
So here is this great beast. It has very poor eyesight and this makes it vulnerable. It is killed for its horn alone which as already explained has some medicinal purposes.
That’s it, that’s all they want. Kill it, chop off the horn and run. Seems like such a waste?
What can we do about it, if anything?
Many people I know say, ” we should just cut off their horns humanely and therefore the poachers have no reason to kill it, but at least the Rhino still lives.”
Others say, ” this is a crime and the only way is to stop the poachers.”
I would welcome your views in the comments section at the bottom of this piece.
Part of the Rhino’s problem.
Their breeding habits.
It seems that the female rhino only becomes receptive to the male’s attentions every three years or so, while the male only becomes interested in her at the same intervals. A condition known quite appropriately as “Must.”
The problem is one of synchronization, for their amorous inclinations do not always coincide.
Above sent to me by a lovely lady.
Nevertheless it is true and sadly is part of the problem. Put another way, they can’t breed their way out of trouble. In human terms what this boils down to is, she has always got a headache, but at long last, when she hasn’t, he’s finally got one.
Anyway, on a more serious note, that is exactly what happens but concerned game rangers have been trying for decades to artificially inseminate them. It’s great when people care?
You can help.
Visit the great African outdoors.
There is actually a way concerned people can help. Very simply put, take a trip to Africa and visit. What this means is, the more governments see how much this means to people and the more revenue they accrue from associated trips, the more inclined they will be on working to stem this tide on poaching. Hurry and book your game viewing trip of a lifetime now.
Now a good friend of mine wrote a very lovely poem about this the other day and has very kindly granted me permission to use it on this piece. Before you read it, I just want to say, whatever has happened to the world? People spiking vulnerable or any, woman’s drink or food in order to be able to undermine her defences and sleep with her. How sad? Even sadder most, if not all of this could have been prevented by not allowing incompetent and unethical governments into power. Look around you, it is everywhere. Did any one ever stop to think what the cost was going to be, not only in human terms?
So a very lovely and iconic African armoured beast pays the price with extinction. Who or what next?
Our last African Rhino died today,
The press of course had much to say,
They questioned why so little was done,
To stop the merciless poachers gun.
They blamed the buyers from the East,
Huge sums were paid for one dead beast,
Shot for the trophy of its ‘magical’ horn,
Marked for culling from the day it was born.
Ounce for ounce, more precious than gold.
Containing no aphrodisiac power we’re told,
Gone now forever in the name of greed,
No-one held accountable, all poachers freed.
The world points fingers, but it’s too late,
The majestic White Rhino has met it’s fate.
The Black and the White, enigmatically aloof.
Africa’s rarest beast on cloven hoof.
Now we invite visitor to see the ‘ Big Four ’,
As the fifth, our beloved Rhino, is no more
It is a day of grief and unbelief we all say
Because our very last Rhino died today…
Alf Hutchison ….Author of “ Sounds of Distant Drums ”