Rhino love

In 2011, 448 rhino’s were poached for their horns.  By the 20th of March 2012, 135 rhino have already been killed by poachers for their horns.  At this rate the rhino will be extinct in less than 10 years. During a recent work trip up to Zululand we had the opportunity to photograph these beautiful, gentle giants.  I asked the ranger why safely dehorning rhinos wasn’t more of an option to protect them against poachers, his reply was grim: “The poachers will still kill them even if it is only the stump left, it is believed that the stump has the most medicinal value.”  A high-ranking Vietnamese official publicly claimed that rhino horn cured him of his cancer. Rhino horn is now worth more than gold.  A tracker (not the actual poacher) can earn themselves up to R15 000.  The horn itself  could sell for around 40 000 Euros!  It has been suggested that legalizing the trade of  rhino horn and flooding the market with all the old stock gathered over the years may kill the demand.  Whatever the solution, something needs to be done fast before all we have left are pictures.

This female and her calf of 4 years lost their male companion to poaching last year.

Comments

  1. Excellent photos of a serious issue! Thanks for creating awareness with these beautiful images.

  2. How beautiful the article and the pictures, thank you so much again Alexis, the pictures are amazing! And to echo Dirk above, thank you for creating awareness!

  3. Natalie Kohne says:

    Ah Alexis, you have such a beautiful heart! That teamed with your amazing talent is such a wonderful combo! My brother-in-law spent last year in Kruger working on a contract there, and developed such a love for these amazing creatures and such an interest in this escalating issue of poaching…I cant wait to share this link with him!

    • Such a sad day, the female rhino was found poached this morning, (half her head cut off) less than 2 weeks after these photo’s were taken. At a complete loss for words.

  4. It makes me sad to think that my daughter might have to come on to your website to see what amazing and beautiful animals they were.
    Lets keep them in our prayers.

  5. completely at a loss for words…

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