August 24, 2010
Rhinos and human nature
South Africa is currently experiencing a massive problem with poaching, in particular rhino poaching.
SA National Parks officials and guides are struggling to compete against poachers who arrive en masse, complete with their own helicopter, dressed to the nines in bulletproof armour and armed to the teeth with AK47s and other weapons.
It might seem like a bit of a Hollywood movie when it's put like that, but that's the truth.
And when the parks officials, and game farmers, are faced with these people, all they can do is watch their beloved, and what should be our beloved, rhinos being shot or darted and their horns hacked out of their heads, sometimes leaving orphaned or dead calves in their wake.
The reason that rhino poaching has such a hold in this country is because: firstly, South Africans don't care so much about it - as long as they can see one or two when they visit the Kruger National Park intermittently, they're pleased; secondly, China is paying big bucks for this miracle substance; thirdly, major stars such as Elle MacPherson admit to the miraculous way their skin improves when they use it; fourthly, because people just don't care.
I've been told many times that there's nothing that can be done about this. Even the new National Anti-Poaching Committee that was set up recently won't change a thing. I have hope that we'll change, but I'm starting to lose that...
Why? Human nature, that's why. We believe that we're at the top of the food chain. We don't have to answer to anyone. The planet is ours.
Too bad human nature isn't too forward-looking.