Rhinos are one of the few prehistoric looking animals left on our planet. They are fascinating creatures. Unfortunately they are under tremendous attack from poachers. In South Africa alone so far this year there has been over 250 Rhinos killed. They are being poached for their horns which are highly sought by the Chinese culture for superstitious pseudo-scientific medicinal purposes. The Rhino horn is made up of keratin, which is the same type of protein that human hair and fingernails are made of. It is completely useless as a medicinal remedy. And yet the attack on Rhinos continues in full force. The value of a Rhino horn is currently worth more than that of gold, diamonds, heroin or cocaine. These magnificent animals are dying for mere superstition and they are becoming highly endangered.
This past week an attack took place on 3 Rhinos at the Aquila Private Game Reserve in Cape Horn, South Africa. One young male was killed outright and dehorned, and a young female was darted but unharmed. A third Rhino, named ABSA, the father of the other two Rhinos, was horribly mutilated as his main horn was chainsawed off of his face. The poachers did not get his second horn, being scared off apparently. When ABSA was found he was in critical condition. An intensive effort was made all week to save his life by the wonderful people at the game preserve.
Sadly, ABSA lost the battle to live last night. His spirit now soars with all the other beautiful Rhinos who have died from poaching. Condolences are pouring into the Aquila Private Game Reserve for the loss of this brave Rhino who fought with all his will to live. The Director of the preserve, Searl Derman, is vowing to take this fight to stop the poaching of Rhinos internationally. Currently a reward is being offered for the identity of the poachers also of R100,000 (USD $13,963).
ABSA's death will not be in vain. He stands as a symbol to end this horrific assault on Rhinos. On September 22, the world will celebrate World Rhino Day as a stand against Rhino poaching. What you can do in the meantime is sign the petition below. Also, please boycott any products from China until they ban this outdated superstition from their country. Currently China is underway with plans to begin farming Rhinos for their horns. This must also be prohibited. China cannot be allowed to continue to destroy beautiful, innocent and endangered animals for their worthless medicinal remedies.
We as world citizens can and must stop them. Before you buy anything be sure to read the label. If it says Made in China - do not buy it! Do it to save all the other Rhinos. Let ABSA live on in our actions to stop this atrocity.
A beautiful poem written by a 14 year old boy in tribute to the death of ABSA ~
Ryan Bird- My prayer to ABSA
I was so worried about you late last night
I just sat praying that you will be all right
...I am heartbroken that you have passed away
Your horn stolen for some pathetic brain
We felt your suffering and wished you would stay
But we all know that your death was not in vain
Your footprints in the sand will disappear in time
Your eyes kept asking why?
Is this the way rhinos have to die?
God called you home, yes, God has a plan
We will stand together and try to save the rest
Every animal lover, every woman and man
ABSA my dear friend, you deserve a painless rest
Every rhino deserves a natural end to a start
Let your spirit roam free in everyone’s heart
By Ryan (14)
Here is a video from the director of the preserve where the Rhinos were poached talking about how he intends to fight this.