Some stories just get inside your head and don’t let go. African Wildlife Foundation’s January announcement of the birth of two white rhinos really grabbed me. Maybe it was the incredibly cute baby calf photo album on Facebook or perhaps I’ve just read the inside of our Dark Chocolate with Hazelnut Toffee Rhino Bar wrapper one too many times. In any case, I was compelled to learn more.
Starting the New Year off on a bright note, two white rhino calves were born in Mosi-Oa-Tunya Park, an incredibly beautiful Zambian widlife refuge. African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) assisted in placing the mothers in the park over a year ago – after all but one of Zambia’s rhinos were killed by poachers. The calves and their mothers are currently under heavy guard by the Zambia Wildlife Authority with support from AWF. When you look at the statistics, it is clear why this protection is imperative:
- 2007 – 13 rhinos killed
- 2008 – 83 rhinos killed
- 2009 – 122 rhinos killed
- 2010 – 333 rhinos killed (Source: Care2)
The disturbing rise in poaching is attributed to increased demand for rhino horn, which has long been prized as an ingredient in traditional Asian medicine. The numbers in the chart above astound and dishearten me. I think that’s why the story of the baby rhino births grabbed me and wouldn’t let go – it’s a reminder that conservation can overcome the senseless damage humans inflict on endangered populations.
What gives you hope?