The illegal poaching of rhinoceros is a huge problem in Africa. In fact, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, in 2015 alone, more rhinos are being slaughtered than are being born.
Rhinoceros are poached for their horns, which by weight cost as much as gold on the black market. Some cultures use their horns for ornamental purposes, much like the ivory of elephants. Yet the real reason why their horns are in high demand is because of a legend claims that the horns, if ground up and consumed, possess therapeutic properties.
This medicinal myth is not accurate and due to poor education, so many rhinos are being killed that there is currently only one male white rhino left alive in the entire world. To help ensure the survival of his species, 40 armed bodyguards protect him at all times.
Although extreme, the story of this lone white rhino doesn’t compare to the ones of other strong survivors who had their horns hacked off by heartless poachers but refused to let them rob them of their lives…
Some of the following images below are censored due to their graphic nature, if you wish to see them, click on them.
This black rhino calf lives in Zimbabwe. He was left orphaned because poachers murdered his mom. It’s a shame because, as evidenced by this picture, he needs a whole lot of love and has even more to give back. He now has a new family that’s taking good care of him.
He is lucky, however, as many baby rhinos orphaned by poachers learn to be survivors too young.
Some fortunate calves end up in unique sanctuaries like The Rhino Orphanage where the young rhinos learn to rely on other inspirational youths.
Meet Thandi. She is missing a horn due to a vicious poaching attempt in 2012. Thandi barely survived the attack. Two of her friends weren’t as lucky.
Although it took 12 surgeries to heal the wound left by heartless poachers, Thandi is flourishing.
Early in 2015, this rhino that refused to give up gave birth to her calf, Thembi.
This is Hope. Her name suits her well. She was left to die at only 4 years old after poachers chopped her horn off.
The sweet rhino was found extremely mutilated when the veterinary team from the rescue Saving the Survivors rushed to save her.
Fifteen days after her surgery, Hope’s “wound is looking very good, no signs of infection or any bleeding,” reported the rescue on Facebook. “Hope seems to know that she will survive.”
Although these gentle creatures have experienced horrors we could never truly fathom, their unwavering spirit and refusal to give up is an inspiration to all.
It would be a shame if we forever lost such a beautiful species, but due to the hard work of rescues like Saving The Survivors and The Rhino Orphanage, there is hope.
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