They arrive, bludgeoned with knobkieries, dehydrated and disoriented, bleeding from wounds inflicted by pangas, machetes and sharpened metal stakes. Sometimes, they are less than a week old, and after being hacked by poachers for no reason, they have to run and hide from the hyenas who have learnt to listen for those midnight shots.
The trauma experienced by these #rhino orphans are utterly unimaginable, and your heart wants to break when you think what they have gone through, courtesy of us ‘evolved’ homo sapiens. Few things in life get me going, but this is one of them, and on the @ComanisFound #RhinoFacts Tour, I had to walk away from the atrocities being performed by the bands of poachers and their evil masters.
How the #wildlife vets, park #rangers and #conservation crews – who work with this on a daily basis – cope, I have no idea. There is no doubt that I would have resorted to maximum force or even worse, given up, but that is not an option here on the #rhinowarsfront line.
Rhino sanctuaries like Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary go to battle every single day. They not only have to read stave off on-going incursions from crime syndicates and fight for every penny they need to care for the rhinos, but are also in constant conflict with armchair experts and lobby groups. Horse patrols, Belgian melanoise tracker dogs, infra-red camera systems, blood hounds, armed guards this is like the forward-control line at a US Marines Base …
It’s not fucking easy. You care for a tiny being who bleats – and sounds like a baby whale – for his mother every single night. You nurse it, build up its strength and confidence, and over time, they become a part of your heart. And then, after a year or three, when you deem your job done, you watch as they lumber off into the wilds.
This is not an end-game. You need electric fences and attack dogs and devoted rangers to keep the evil – our evil – at bay. Here’s the question: what are you doing to stop these atrocities? Isn’t it time to actually make changes, and look at ALL the possible solutions, including legal trade? Right now, only the criminals are making money, and by 2030, it will be too late as there will be no rhinos left.
Click here to see the pics