Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Save The Rhino

For once, there’s a ‘World such-and-such Day’ that’s worthwhile…
This Saturday 22nd.October is World Rhino Day – to highlight the plight of the rapidly-diminishing numbers of rhino. These awesome animals are poached for their horn, which has no medicinal value.
Recently a vet in S.Africa, Dr Will Fowlds, who had bred a rhino himself, had to deal with the trauma of watching that same animal die in agony:
“There stood a rhino, hardly recognisable, his profile completely changed by the absence of those iconic horns, skull and soft tissue trauma extending down into the remnants of his face, to expose the underlying nasal passages.
He lifted his head, revealing pieces of loose flesh hanging from his deformed and bloodied face. He turned in my direction, his left front leg providing no support and dragging behind him...he used his mutilated muzzle and nose as a crutch and staggered toward me. His one eye was injured and clouded over, adding to his horrific appearance.
There was no chance of saving his life, and the most humane thing to do was to end this tragedy by euthanasia…I felt we needed to let the world to see the horrendous suffering – but could a vet, who should understand the extent of suffering this animal was enduring, be at ethical liberty to extend it a little longer?
I called in a camera team to get footage. This rhino was indeed Geza – the Naughty One, a male born on Amakhala Reserve (where I live) in January 2006 as the calf of Nomabongo – the Proud Lady…
The camera crew arrived and then I was finally able to bring this nightmare to an end. The most humane way to end it was to administer an overdose of opioid anaesthetic. Within a few minutes the drugs were taking effect. A sense of relief mingled with sadness, disgust and shame descended…the heavy bullet which would ensure finality to this living nightmare slammed though his skull, with the noise and shock wave blasting out across the landscape, heralding the end to a tortured and agonising struggle.”
For proof of this horrific animal crime, view the footage here [warning: details are not pleasant].
The killing of rhinos must STOP! The rhino is an iconic symbol of our global conservation successes and failures. If we can’t save the rhino from extinction, what hope do we have of saving the rest?

No comments: