I had an up-close-and-personal encounter with a rhino when I was very young. His name was Rufus* and I have a book about him somewhere. To be honest, I can’t remember his story. I assume he had been orphaned and he was living with some human family when he was very young. When I met him, he was older and in an enclosure, I think at the Nairobi National Game Park. I have a photo I shall try and dig up of me running away from him. I think he was just being curious and playful. Quite possibly he was still being playful when he killed a game warden two months later. Who knows. The fact is, rhinos are wild and they deserve the freedom to bask in the mud and open plains of the wilderness. Their naturally wild nature and massive physical power needs to be respected. The greatest threat to these magnificent prehistoric-looking creatures is human. After standing their ground for centuries – dating back to the time of the dinosaur – rhinos are now subject to poaching and the horrific mutilation that that entails. All because of man’s greed and an unproven theory that rhino horn will help his sexual prowess.
Recently, a South African judge sentenced poachers to 25 years in jail for killing a rhino. Bless him for taking such a strong stance against poaching and for representing humans as protectors, not destroyers. Kudos, also, to Nambiti Hills for initiating a means by which you, too, can help protect rhinos. All you have to do is click here to take you though to the Nambiti Hills Facebook page. Like the page, and the Nambiti Hills management will donate R10 to the Save the Rhino Foundation. If you would like to donate more, there’s a facility on the Facebook page to do that too.
It doesn’t take much to make a big difference. I urge you, as a fellow respecter of the rhino and other wildlife, and a good human, to help protect the Rhino.
*About Rufus – I just found a story about this rhino on the web. There’s mention of him attacking his handler but not killing him. So maybe the story I was told as a child was incorrect. Or possibly my childish imagination got the better of me. The fact is, there’s a wild side to even the most docile of hand-reared wild animals and they can turn at any time.
- Siobhan, writer and wildlife respecter