RUN FOR RHINOS
On Sunday, April 17th the dedicated ‘Rhino Marathon’ will be run in London to raise funds for rhino conservation projects. Another purpose is to create added awareness to the plight of rhinos, which in particular in Southern Africa have been slaughtered at an alarming rate. Last year 333 rhinos were butchered in South Africa alone, with some of them having their horns cut off by chain saws or hacked off with hatches and axes when still alive. This year over 70 rhinos were lost already, outstripping the birth of young calfs by a great multiple.
The sudden jump over the last two years is for all purposes being blamed on Chinese in particular but also other Far Eastern countries citizens, who try to cure impotence and other ailments by powder and concoctions containing rhino horn, and the restarted world economy has driven the greed and hunger for rhino horns and blood ivory to new levels, as in particular the Chinese money elite are seemingly hell bent to acquire what they want at nearly any cost. This has driven poaching across the African safari countries to new levels, the highest since the dark days of the 70’s and 80’s, when the herds of elephant and rhino were without mercy decimated.
The ‘Rhino Marathon’ is therefore important in the annual conservation calendar and over 50 runners have been entered to raise funds for ‘Save the Rhino International’ and other wildlife charities.
Let the focus of the international media on this event also shift to demanding from the Chinese government, and other governments where citizens are implicated in smuggling of Africa’s wildlife products, that they revisit their respective laws and make smuggling of, trade in, processing and possession of blood ivory, rhino horn and bones of Africa’s wild animals punishable by record fines and long prison terms – only then will the market driven poaching be curtailed.
Best of luck to the runners next weekend, many of whom will actually be wearing rhino ‘costumes’, good weather, no pulled hamstrings and loose purse strings from supporters of the cause.