Northern White Rhino – Our road to extinction…?

This blogpost is in memory of 41 year old White Northern Rhino Nola, who had to be euthanized in the San Diego zoo due to severe arthritis. She was one of 4 !!! Northern White Rhino’s left in the world. The remaining 3 live relatively free in Kenya…..

I know the world is in distress about the tensed situation in the middle east and all the suffering that it causes. But as a species we don’t have to worry yet. Our biggest concern should be what we are doing to our natural world…I am writing this trying to break through our indifference and hopefully reach more people than I can by just talking. I have been doing this for years and it worries me that nothing seems to change.

The countdown to final extinction of the White Northern Rhino’s is real and unavoidable. I guess it is only right that the 3remaining  rhino’s can live out their lives in an area where they belong. And I hope those 3 can pass away in dignity and die of old age, in stead of a poachers bullet with a hacked off face (or worse, google the ugly face of poaching, but if you do make sure you have a strong stomach).

White Rhinoceros (close-up) Nakuru Kenia © AVWhat makes me sick and sad is that I shot these images of Rhino’s on my first visit to Africa. In Nakuru, Kenya. This individual was part of a herd of 20 or so….so look at this one and consider this: The current population of White Rhino is only 15% of what I witnessed then in 1995. Our indifference for our natural world is causing a mass extinction of species at present. Iconic species like the Rhino are the only ones catching the (very small) headlines!

The poaching has to stop, the big game hunting has to stop, the attitudes in the far east have to change. For these convictions, in combination with the desire for greater wealth, drives the poaching. But we can’t blame just the Asian people.  You and I have to change our attitudes towards possession and consumption, replacing perfectly working mobile phones, camera’s and TV’s etc for just that one gimmick extra. You and I want to see tropical fruit in our local supermarket 12 months a year etc. That eventually drives the destruction of habitats and overuse of natural resources. If that doesn’t stop, soon we will be on that list of disappearing species as well. The only difference being that we have to blame ourselves.

The remaining species of Rhino are in deep trouble as well. The next one to go is the Javan Rhino with an estimated 60! left in the world. And don’t think zoo populations will save the species. Javan Rhino’s are notoriously difficult breeders. And for instance, the Northern White Rhino individuals we have left are all 3 former zoo animals..

It would be great if everyone who enjoys my photographs and is just as involved as me, likes and shares this message, on twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram and pins it to the top of their pages for a while.

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