There is nothing quite like encountering a white rhino on foot in the South African Highveld.
They are, to put it simply, a 5,000 pound conglomeration of enormous size, perfected evolution, pure majesty, and sheer beauty. You can feel every single hair raise on your body as you watch them silently from a distance. With just one sighting, even from a safe distance, your primal self is immediately brought back in time, thousands of years ago, to where survival is the only thought that occupies ones mind.
If there is indeed space for any other thoughts they are surely ones of respect and admiration, not of murder or money. Recently, in a small part of South Central South Africa, at a wildlife reserved called Kragga Gamma Game Reserve, a white rhino’s life was ended for one centimeter of rhino horn.
What’s more terrible, is that this wildlife reserve had just removed all of the rhino horns from the resident rhino population. In order to protect these amazing creatures from poaching . . . the essence of what makes a rhino a rhino . . . their horns were removed. Unfortunately for Bella, as named by the park rangers, she was found on Thursday slain by poachers, leaving behind her young calf named Tank.
Rhinos are still being poached at alarming rates. Roughly 3-4 every single day in South Africa. This is a 9000% increase over the last decade, and in just a decade more, we may see an end to the rhino species for the future of the planet. No more rhinos, no more majesty, no more beauty.
Now you may feel conflicted about removing a rhinos horn, but it is a step among a litany of steps towards protection, which rhinos desperately need. Sadly, poachers are getting more and more desperate as well, meaning even one centimeter of rhino horn leaves a rhino vulnerable.
Exactly one week from her dehorning, Bella was murdered in the middle of the night. Like cowards, poachers broke onto the game reserve and shot her with a high caliber rifle. They took the little horn she had left. pic.twitter.com/pPh7oyQidC
— Josh Avsec (@Wes_03) June 30, 2018
Which brings me to our work at Wildlife Protection Solutions. Even among staff, we find the debate about rhino horn removal a heated one. Our team provides anti-poaching services to different reserves . . . some who remove horns and some who don’t, but both of which provide excellent security for their rhinos.
But what we all agree on, is the degree to which our anti-poaching camera traps provide a buffer and a barrier in the battle against rhino extinction. Our wpsWatch system has aided in the apprehension of a number of potential poachers. And I say potential poachers, because they are stopped before they commit to the actual act of poaching and the brutal de-horning process.
Our real-time anti-poaching tech, when used in combination with tried and true anti-poaching strategies, can drastically reduce the number of poaching incidents, and can keep rhinos with their horns alive and well, as they should be.
We mourn the loss of yet another white rhino in South Africa.
-The Team at Wildlife Protection Solutions