“Rhinos Without Borders” – Support the campaign for an endangered species and save the rhinos! #JustOneRhino
Save the rhinos – these strange, archaic, ugly beasts with a bulky horn on the nose, why is that so important, you might think? No, let us rather save cute little seal pups staring at us with big, sad eyes. But what if the world consisted only of animals and people who were defined as sweet and beautiful? What a dull and stunted world it had been!
The Rhino is the unicorn of our times, perhaps a little overweight, but still, it has a horn on the nose and if you look closely, the horn is slender and elegant. When seeing a rhino running across the savannah you will quickly discover how elegant it moves. The rhino is like a mythical creature from distant times teaching us that diversity itself is beautiful and important.
Campaign: Rhinos Without Borders:
Rhinos Without Borders is a campaign to raise money for relocation of endangered rhinos from South Africa to Botswana and thus save the rhinos. The campaign aims to provide at least 45,000 – dollars and is a collaboration between several parties with initiators Dereck and Beverly Joubert. They are wildlife photographers and filmmakers who often work for and with National Geographic. – Great Plains Foundation (Dereck & Beverly Joubert): http://www.greatplainsfoundation.comOther partners for the campaign are:
Travelers Building Change and – Green Travel Media (Official Media Sponsor)
Why are rhinos threatened?
2014 was a tragic record year for rhinos. Over 1,000 animals are killed illegally in one year only in South Africa. And the reason for this is as grotesque! In Asia, particularly China and Vietnam, it is believed that the horn can cure cancer and hangover and additionally increase sex drive. There is of course no research that shows that this is correct! The price of rhino horn is huge, from $ 65,000 and up, higher than the gold price, and poor poachers gladly risk when profits are of such dimensions. They get of course not such sums; most of the money goes to unscrupulous traffickers and corrupt people in the back.
Help us save the rhinos! At the same time you can participate in the draw of lots of exciting and valuable prizes, see the overview of prizes at the end of this post.
Support the campaign ”Rhinos Without Borders”
My personal meeting with rhinos:
My first encounter with a rhino took place late at night in pitch-blackness. We were on a safari trip from Johannesburg to Durban, through Kruger Park and Swaziland. After a night safari, we were on our way back to the lodge on a bumpy dirt road across the savannah. Suddenly the jeep stopped and our driver put the spotlights directly on a huge body that stood across the road and stared at us with shining eyes. And there we were standing, only 5-10 meters from the huge beast. The rhino blocked the road effectively and had no intention to move. We had no choice, we just had to wait.
I felt anxiety creeping through my veins while my heart beat faster. The large animal would not have any problems with pushing the car over, if that were what it desired! We probably sat for 15 minutes and psyched each other out, our driver with the flashlight and the rhino with its impressive strength. But soon my enthusiasm and curiosity won over my anxiety and while we sat there, I got a good opportunity to study this magnificent animal. First impression was overwhelming and I would not characterize this rhino as beautiful. But slowly I changed my perception of the body before us and I saw slender horns and cute ears with tassels on. The skin was like a bonnet across the back and formed gorgeous foldings where the skin continued down the legs. In the sharp light of the headlight I realized how beautiful a rhino could be.
In the following days we spotted rhinos many times and the highlight was when we could study a rhino with a small baby for more than 10 minutes. To day you are privileged if you see a rhino whatsoever. Imagine if I belong to the last generation who may experience rhinos in their natural habitat in the wild? Think if my grandchildren never will experience the variety and beauty of the world, but only have to look at photos? A tragic thought!
I will not just accept that this is an inevitable trend. I will contribute to increased awareness of all animals that are threatened with extinction and against everything that threatens biodiversity in the world. Therefore I wrote this blog post, which is one of many in the campaign “Rhinos Without Borders”. Worldwide, travel bloggers are writing posts in support of this campaign and urge you to support this important work. Join and support the campaign and take part in the draw for many exciting prizes!
Save the rhinos – Rhinos Without Borders:
The aim of the campaign is to prevent the extermination of rhinos through, initially, to move 100 of them from vulnerable areas in South Africa to safer areas in Botswana. Botswana has good conditions to protect rhinos from poachers. They have focused on ecotourism in the upper price range and the fight against poaching is the responsibility of the army. Botswana is one of the best developed countries in Africa with little corruption and an economy in good progress.
Get involved – Save the rhinos #JustOneRhino
Tourism, especially safari tourism, is important for many countries in Africa. What happens when we can no longer experience the wild animals on safari? It is not only rhinos that are endangered, lions and elephants, mountain gorillas and leopards are all among animals we may not be able to see in nature in the future. Safari Tourism will then become meaningless and many people will lose their jobs.
Tourism is a major industry in Africa and contributes so that large areas are preserved. In many countries, revenues from national parks are also distributed to locals in the areas around the parks and tourism contributes therefore to the development of schools, health care and other infrastructure. But there are also places where the locals never see anything to the money that tourists leave and where poverty forces people to poaching. But poaching does not get much money to the locals, most goes to people behind.
Critical for the African savannah if rhinos disappear:
Rhinos are grass eaters and the affects the flora on the savannah. In Kruger Park in South Africa scientists have researched on the impact that rhinos have on the savannah. Rhinos became extinct in Kruger Park in the late 1800s, but then reintroduced in the 1960s. Rhinos have remained in specific areas and thus researchers have been able to follow the developments where rhinos graze and where they do not graze. There is no doubt that where rhinos are grazing the grass is lower and richer. It is known that low, dense grass increases diversity and thus gives us a richer savannah. So a savannah without rhinos gets less fertile and many of the plants will not survive. They will simply drown in the tall grass. Rhinos are of vital importance for the savannah`s ecosystem.
Rhinos of Africa:
Africa has two different species of rhinos; White Rhino and Black Rhino. The English name comes not by the color, both species have similar color. The name is a pure misunderstanding. The Dutch called the one species for Weid mond rhino (wide mouth rhino) but for the Englishmen it sounded like they said; white.
There are mostly white rhinos in Africa. It is the largest species and they have a distinct bump on the back, by the shoulders and a wide mouth. White Rhinos are a social animal and is not regarded as particularly aggressive. Black rhino is slightly smaller and is considered very aggressive. Black rhino is often living alone in dense vegetation.
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& more coming soon!
Read more about moving the rhinos from South Africa to Botswana: Interview with Dereck Joubert from Rhinos Without Borders.
Save the Rhinos
Help us save #JustOneRhino and win one of those amazing prices!