A few months ago, during a quick weekend away to the Pilansberg Nature Reserve, I was ecstatic to get a glimpse of a White Rhino near the roadside while driving through the reserve. Within seconds the rhino disappeared into the bush after car travelling in the opposite direction disturbed it. Regardless, there is something exhilarating about seeing a rhino in its natural habitat. Sadly in the coming decades, unless something drastic is done to curb rhino poaching, the only place we will be able to see living rhinos will be in zoos.
Over the past 8 years, the plight of rhino species globally & locally, has plummeted as a result of illegal poaching for their horn. Since 2008, nearly 6000 rhinos have been killed in South Africa alone. More shockingly, the numbers since 2013 have been over 1000 rhinos killed annually in South Africa!
The reasons for this explosion is attributed to the rising demand for rhino horn in the far east traditional medicine trade where countries such as China and Vietnam, who believe that rhino horn is able to cure a host of human ailments. Despite the ongoing work by law enforcement, governments and NGOs, the fight to stop poachers and catch those involved in organised syndicates feels never ending.
What can be done to save rhinos in light of all these challenges? Thankfully there are many NGOs and NPOs who continue to fight to save the rhino. These organisations are involved in a full spectrum of fields, for example training sniffer dogs for use in airports or those trained to search for and apprehend poachers and protect rhinos in reserves. Another organisation, the Vet Rhino Fund, is run by the South African Veterinary Association and raises funds education, research and veterinary care provided to rhinos.
These organisations need your support! Below are only a few of the organisations involved. I recommend going onto google and finding out more about the plight of rhinos and what is being done to save them. Thursday 22nd September is World Rhino Day, a conservation initiative, first launched by the WWF South Africa in 2010. Please share this post on social media platforms and raise awareness for Rhinos with your family and friends. Together we can save them for future generations!