Poaching is a terrible thing worldwide and it affects too many species to count. It’s not only a serious problem, it’s a scary one. In some Asian countries, Traditional Chinese Medicine TCM prescribes different animals parts (like bone, eyes, gallbladders, horns, etc.) from different species (or substitutes species!) of animals to treat an ever-growing amount of human diseases. The plight of rhino is no news for anyone that has an interest in the natural world. Rhino’s are currently being killed all around the world for on thing only: their precious horns. According to the TCM rhino horn can be used to treat a variety of thing, including but not limited to infections, fevers and cancer. However because it’s become so expensive, it’s morphed from a medicinal ingredient to a symbol of status. Only those with money and power can afford it, and will therefore flaunt it to prove they’re part of some illogical elite in their country. If you consider a KG will go for about USD 65’000 then you get what I’m saying – an expensive piece of ornament in your coffee table, marked with the blood of an innocent animal to prove how cool you are.
Trying to raise and rehabilitate rhinos into the wild in these conditions is tough and can be heart breaking. All sorts of measures from infusing the horn with poison, to dehorning the rhinos are being tried in an attempt to deter poachers – sadly, it doesn’t always work. Human greed knows no end.
After being closely hit by a poaching attempt on one of the handsome males, we decided to take matters into our own hands and welcome a new girl into our house: Dela – a black rhino of about 8 months of age, being the 4th new girl to share a living space. In theory she should sleep in our garden however there are no doors – or boundaries – that Dela won’t break down in order to get closer to her human mom, Erin. Have you ever heard of anyone being able to stop a rhino? No? That’s because you can’t. They’re smart and too stubborn to give up! Before losing another door or gate or bed we decided we were better off waking up early, sweeping and moping the house before our daily routine just to make sure we could keep an eye on her during the night and not stress that she was being watched while someone counted the dollars of her horn. She makes for a great foot rest for Sunday movies, problem is she smells like a rhino and she is – put it mildly – a loving brat. She only likes certain people, will only listen to Erin or Dave and
What difference could 3 girls make against armed poachers? Seriously? Nada. Zip. Zero. Nothing. A house of 3 girls, no guns, no real backup. Our only strategy is to deter anyone from coming into the middle of the living quarters to try and get a rhino out of a house. It made perfect sense to us, she would be perfectly safe with us.
Two weeks after she moved in she made Laura cry, broke Erin’s bed and peed on my sandals. Needless to say, I nearly killed her – poachers and rhinos know no rath like a girl loosing her work shoes haha!