Tag Archives: South African Rhinos

Safe For Now, But Something Needs To Change For The Rhinos

Observing rhinos for the very first time so close and personal during my game drive was amazing. Muscle packed as they are I became intrigued by these prehistoric-looking beasts.

Watching the little rhino calf was especially entertaing. Instead of letting her aunt have a rest, the little rhino calf climbed up on top of her until aunty got up to the little ones amusement.

Rhino Calf Being Bored, Private Game Reserve, South Africa (Photos by Angelika)

Rhino Calf Up For Some Mischief, Private Game Reserve, South Africa (Photos by Angelika)

Rhino Standing On Top Of Another Rhino, Private Game Reserve, South Africa (Photos by Angelika)

Little Rhino Won, Private Game Reserve, South Africa (Photos by Angelika)

On each of our visits we spent quite some time with the heard and on one occasion when we started to leave, the youngster felt rather inquisitive, running at our game vehicle. She came quite close but when we drove away in a loop, she lost her cool and quickly looked for protection behind her mum.

Having spent two days around the herd and appreciating the animals, it is painful to know, that so many rhinos out there get slaughtered for their horns. Sadly there is also a heartbreaking story behind this small herd of rhinos. Just a few months before my visit to the private game reserve, two male resident rhinos died in the aftermath of brutal poacher attacks.

Nowadays only a family of four female rhinos including the calf, call the private game reserve in the Western Cape their home. Security has been tightened since, with rangers following the rhinos 24/7 which hopefully will keep them safe, but it is worrying that so many rhinos die at the hand of poachers.

South African National Parks (SANParks) published a shocking report at the end of February, announcing that in the first six weeks of 2012, 52 rhinos have already been poached throughout South Africa. The Kruger National Park being the hardest hit with a appalling 26 rhino deaths.

Now, only two weeks later apparently 118 rhinos have been poached in South Africa alone.

With rising wealth in places like Vietnam and Thailand the demand for rhino horns, which is used in traditional medicine throughout Asia, increased dramatically since 2007 with the street value of rhinoceros horn soaring to about US$ 65,000 a kilogram, making it more expensive than gold and platinum.

This has to stop!

Please help the rhinos in whatever way you can, every bit counts.

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