I have been waiting in anticipation for this to happen. I close my eyes and summon the familiar feeling of the bush. The lively peace of the birds singing and relaxed concentration of staring through the trees (not at them) to locate any form of wildlife. But this time, it is to be different. The anticipation is more intense and touched by apprehension. The task at hand is like a mountain and the cause is acutely critical with failure being a very real possibility.
What am I talking about? The plight of our wildlife. In this case, the rhino.
I have been given the opportunity to visit the Timbavati Private Reserve soon and assist in the social media coverage of the making of a short film to highlight the plight of these beautiful creatures. We have all heard the numbers and the state of affairs is bleak. When almost half of the remaining population disappears in one year, it isn’t just the conservationists problem, it becomes everyone’s problem.
Leads 2 Business has donated funds in support of the anti poaching team based in Timbavati and the Marketing Department came up with the idea of extending people’s awareness by making a movie clip about Timbavati’s efforts to halt poaching in the region. Rooftop Productions has been conceptualizing the short film and shared some of the videos they have seen while researching this topic. One of the video’s really made an impact on me. Instead of just giving statistics it connected with me on a level where I could identify with something that has immense value to me – family. This video portrays elephant poaching, but the idea remains the same. Can you identify with this?
The Save the Rhino organisation list the threats to Rhino as:
- Poaching for rhino horn
- Habitat loss
- Political Conflict, and
- Poaching for Jambiya Handles
Despite increasing efforts being made worldwide to cut off poaching, the demand from the Asia seems to be on the rise. The African Wildlife Foundation has launched various videos and campaigns with celebrities, trying to educate people about their choices when it comes to rhino horn and the mistaken idea that it has medicinal properties. However, despite efforts made globally, according to the Department of Environmental Affairs in South Africa, the numbers are looking bleak. This has also been reinforced just this year with the extinction of the Northern White Rhino
One can’t help but feeling an increasing sense of desperation. Is there anything that can be done to end this insanity? The news gets worse when you realise that the black rhino, and rhino’s in general, are not the only animals climbing up the endangered species list.
Recently in the news it has been mentioned that synthetic rhino horn is to be manufactured and used to flood the market, which in turn would hopefully bring down the demand. There are arguments both for and against this concept. But surely it is still a good thing that an attempt is being made instead of sitting back and hoping the problem will fix itself (I’m sure that is what the Dodo thought before extinction).
So, back to the here and now as I sit at my desk penning my thoughts (I am really stressing myself out). Although in reality a video with campaigning may not save the rhino. But it may save a rhino. My theory is we are going out there to create more awareness and are doing something. By doing this we hope to help people maybe see with fresh eyes and connect instead of feeling defeated. When I am old and thinking back on my days, what would I give to have been part of a worthy cause such as this?
Do you want to give your children a gift that keeps on giving? Well, perhaps being part of a cause such as saving a species so that your children can visit them in the wild instead of a Museum would be that kind of gift. #justsaying