Devastated Woman Sits Next To White Rhino Killed For Her Horn
Look, anybody that hunts animals for a sport or financial gain falls into that important bracket of being the scum of the Earth. If you're going to keep on reading, then be prepared with a box of tissues. It's not for the faint of heart, fellow animal lovers.
Lynne MacTavish, who is operations manager at Mankwe Game Reserve, finds herself sitting by the white rhinoceros Winnie and is absolutely mortified and in tears at what's happened to the beautiful creature. Winnie, you see, is the latest victim of animal poachers who wanted her horn.
Rhino poaching is hitting a new height that could see the species extinct within the next 10 years.
Of course, there are many people taking a stand against this unjustified cruelty towards animals.
Kristian Carder, who is from Hindolveston, Norfolk, spent time working alongside an anti-poaching unit in South Africa.
"All rhinos out in the wild are easy pickings," Carder told the Dereham Times. "Six were killed in the last week and often it is done in a horrific way.
"They try not to use guns, so they don't alert anti-poaching units and instead they use a machete and paralyse them before cutting the eyes so the rhino can't see.
"After that, they use a chainsaw to remove the horn. Many times the rhino is left alive."
It paints an awful image in the mind, doesn't it? According to Save the Rhino, 1,028 rhinos were poached in 2017. That's a drop on the 1,054 killed in 2016, but as Save the Rhino rightfully suggests, it's not a time to celebrate. The fact that any rhino is being killed in such cruel circumstances is horrible - let alone reaching a 1,000-plus per year.
As Dereham Times points out, rhino horns have been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. It's believed that they can help with fevers and act as an aphrodisiac. But we live in the twenty-first century, folks. Time to wake up and smell the roses, as well as marvel at the wonders of modern science in medical treatment.
The market isn't shrinking for rhino horns, though. In fact, it's increasing in places like Vietnam, with urban myths like it can cure cancer is helping to fuel demand in the product.
"Four rhinos are killed each day and this has plunged the species into a decline, which means, at present, there are more rhino being killed than being born," Lynne MacTavish said.
"If this trend continues, the rhino could be extinct in the next 10 years.
"To save them, private reserves have invested millions in developing anti-poaching teams to patrol 24 hours a day, but they are still losing the war.
"In a last desperate attempt to save them, many of the reserves have to dehorn their rhino once a year."
Sure, this isn't a lost cause, but let's hope we don't have to say farewell to white rhinos because they are hunted straight into extinction.
Words by Adnan Riaz
Featured Image Credit: PA