The continuing plight of rhinos because of the absurd demand from the Chinese market for 'medicinal' remedies was brought home to me recently while on safari in South Africa. South Africa has 80% of the world's rhino population but policing the vast tracks of land where these endangered giants roam is a huge task. I read recently that a rhino is killed for its horn every 14 hours.
While there has been a ban on international trade of rhino horn since 1977 there was domestic trade in the horn in South Africa until 2009. When it was finally banned a handful of major dealers were left with an incredibly valuable stockpile and have fought the decision in the SA courts ever since. At the end of January the decision was overturned opening the way for domestic trade to resume. Their argument is that the horn can be 'harvested' without harming the rhino- I leave you, gentle reader, to make your own decision on that.
I read somewhere recently that dying the horn would put a stop to the torture as it would no longer be valuable to the poachers- this presupposes that you catch them first. Even so, it seems a wonderful solution and the mental picture I have of tracking pink horned rhino gives me a warm feeling
We saw a few contented rhino while at Sabi Sands and I hope you enjoy these shots. We also came across the well armed security guys on foot trying to police that needle in a haystack and stop the poachers rip the horns of their next rhino.
Thanks for reading