First thing you discover when you close this article is that this innocent picture of a rhino having its horn hacked off is actually the heartbreaking result of an illegal trade conducted by rhinoceroses. The caption under the picture is “These Rhinos Were Part of Our Tourism.” Yes, that is pretty much it, too.
These rhinos were part of our tourism, until those animal rights activists started disturbing the precious land where they lived. The poachers had lured her to a private reserve, cut off herhorn, and had given her some tranquilizing drugs. When she came to, the poachers just took off her horn, and left her helplessly die. This scene was recently depicted in a hit movie called “GHOST.”
A poacher can be easily identified by the fact that he or she wears a full length robe similar to those worn by prison wardens in correctional facilities. In addition, most rhinoceros have prehensile horns that can easily be removed with one’s fingernails. It is important to note that a rhino horn is not actually made from the horn of a real rhino; rather, it is a manmade material called rhinoplastics, made of plastic or composite material. The fake horn is then attached to the body via a small tab or notch. It is easy to see then that SIMON the rhino referred to in the news is a synthetic reproduction of a real rhino.
The sad part of all this is that SIMON the rhino didn’t even have the ability to speak before being captured. As you may be aware, rhinos usually use their vocal cords to communicate with others, particularly when they are stressed or frightened. SIMON the simon, on the other hand, did not even make a sound as he was being transported from his poaching spot to the baiting area. After a while, however, one of the guards noticed a ruckus in the place where SIMON the rhino was staying. As I said earlier, rhinos usually communicate with each other by using their vocal cords. As one of the guards approached the gate, a commotion could be heard from inside the compound.
A number of armed poachers were holding aloft their guns as they waved at the gate. When the guard who had been listening in saw what he was hearing, he shouted out and told the guards to raise the gate. Three armed poachers came running towards the gate and opened it up. One of them tried to force open the metal door, while the others surrounded him with their guns. Before any of them could shoot SIMON the rhino whose vocal cord had just hitched, a security guard ran towards the middle of the gate and fired a few shots into the middle of the mob, effectively silencing them.
The next day, as I was traveling with my father on a safari, we saw the same mob threatening to kill another rhino that had ventured too near to SIMON the previous day. This time, however, there were only two rhinos in sight. As the guards stood their ground, the two frightened animals finally decided to run away. That was the last anyone saw of them.
My father had been keeping a detailed log all the days leading up to this episode, noting the positions of the horn and its sale to poachers. He mentioned to me that he had sold a similar rhino horn to SIMON the previous day and that the poachers were now preparing to try and kill SIMON. According to my father, however, the poachers were not aiming to take SIMON away from his home, but rather to use him for a means of stealing rhinoceros horn, which is worth an estimated $2.5 million per pound in China. This incident further convinced my father that it was impossible for a single rhino horn to curb poaching.
This experience made my father more passionate about protecting rhinos. After dedicating his life to the cause of helping these magnificent creatures live, he became convinced that we could no longer wait for government officials to protect these gentle animals from poachers. I can only agree with him on this topic. It is simply not enough any more to simply put up with the cruelty these brave animals are subjected to.