Thursday, May 12, 2011

Rhinoceros-Hluhluwe-iMfolozi


We spotted White Rhinoceros near the road at a couple of places in the park; they are fairly common. We even saw some in the bomo (fenced enclosure) tagged for auction to other preserves and game parks. The Black Rhino however is rare and under pressure from poachers and we saw none of these in the wild. Chinese medicine shops pay high prices for the horn of Black Rhino and chinese buyers of these products are therefore complicit in the near extinction of the animals and others such as the the siberian tiger.

To escape detection poachers often "dart" the rhinos with sedatives rather than risk a gunshot which may be heard by rangers. They then, however, hack out the horn and leave the rhino to bleed to death. Neither the risk of extinction or the cruelty of the trade apparently bothers the chinese buyers as the demand is reported to be increasing dramatically with increasing chinese affluence despite widespread publicity regarding the impending fate of the rhinoceros.

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wingssail images-fredrick roswold








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