The Mortal Peril of Rhinos
While on safari in Tanzania last November, I was particularly excited about seeing the big five. While leopards and lions hold a special place in my heart and elephants are arguably more iconic, it was the elusive rhinoceros I was perhaps most excited to see in the wild.
It wasn’t until the last of our four days on safari that we caught a glimpse of one of these beautiful creatures in Ngorogoro Crater, and it was the most fleeting of glimpses as the understandably shy creature ambled even further away from us than it already was.
It was a thrilling moment, and especially so given just how few of these beautiful animals remain in the wild. At the start of the 20th century, there were some 500,000 rhinoceroses in the wild.
We’re down to less than 30,000 now.
While habitat destruction has played its part, the saddest thing about the rhinoceroses’ plight is that it is a result of a far more malicious campaign by greedy assholes who are being paid by superstitious morons. Many in eastern Asia believe that rhino horns can cure everything from cancer to sexual impotency, and despite research proving that they are flat out wrong, idiots are nothing if not stubborn.
Maybe if we start a rumour that poacher penis cures erectile dysfunction…
Despite the general outcry from concerned citizens, rhino poaching numbers are only getting worse. As it becomes harder to find quality ivory, so too does the price of ivory go up. More and more rhinoceroses are being killed every year as their scarcity makes them a more profitable target.
What Can I Do?
Sadly, it’s not yet legal to don your pith cap, grab a rifle, and go hunting idiots or the people in their employ.
That doesn’t mean you’re powerless. Far from it.
This year, Travelers Building Change have partnered with Green Travel Media to tackle the issue. After last year raising over $7,500 to help buy protected land for abused elephants in Thailand, we’ve turned our sights towards raising $45,000 to help save #justonerhino.
#JustOneRhino will see us raise the $45,000 needed to airlift an endangered rhino from poaching heavy South Africa to Botswana.
Why Botswana? The country not only boasts the lowest poaching rates in Africa, but they also shoot to kill when it comes to poachers.
Not only are you taking a rhinoceroses to somewhere far safer, but you’re also making any poacher who tries to go after them literally pay with their own lives for the crime.
Through the Rhinos Without Borders initiative, the Great Plains Foundation have so far successfully transplanted six rhinos from South Africa to Botswana, and aims to transport one hundred in the coming years.
Why Should I Help?
This question answers itself, surely.
The loss of the rhinoceroses would be a tragedy. Seeing one in the wild was one of the most thrilling and moving moments of my life, and I know I want to do my part to ensure that other people also get to experience that.
I also find it revolting that a largely defenceless creature is being mercilessly killed to pander to greed and stupidity.
But if you want a little extra incentive to donate your hard earned money to this charity over the tens of thousands of other worthy causes out there, Travelers Building Change has partnered with a number of sponsors including International Expeditions, Adventure Life, Cobblers Cove Hotel, Yemaya Resorts, Secret Retreats, and many others to put together a prize package worth $30,000.
Let me reiterate for you: By donating, you go into the draw to win prizes worth $30,000.
What prizes? I’m glad you asked.
- 9 day South Africa Safari in Kruger and KwaZulu Natal National Parks for 2 with Adventure Life. Valued at over $6000.
- 10 day Galapagos Voyage for 1 with International Expeditions. Valued at $5,298.
- 10 nights at Yemaya Island Hideaway and Spa in Nicaragua from Yemaya Resorts. Valued at $5,241
- 7 nights bed and breakfast accommodation in a Garden Suite at Cobblers Cove in Barbados. Valued at $5,187
- Five vouchers for 3 night stays at Secret Retreats many locations in Bali, Thailand, the Philippines, and Cambodia. Valued at $900-$1500 each.
Additional prizes include:
- eBag luggage.
- WeWood Watches.
- Dinner/Brunch cruises.
- 2 nights in an Italian villa.
- 2 tours in India.
- ExOfficio Gift Certificate.
- 2 nights in Renaissance Asheville.
- Travel Blog Success Lifetime Membership.
- African Elephant Photo Pack.
- HDR Timelapse Video Camera w/ lens.
- Blogger Mentorship Package from Green Global Travel.
- and more!
You can view the full prize list at TravelersBuildingChange.org.
Donations end on February 28th, 2015.
All images (except the shitty one of a rhino in the distance) are by Beverly Joubert.