National Geographic: The Rhino War


OK, there's the mother.

Now look at this

might pull the skin to the side there.


This is a loft of.

Right, shall we look

for a place to land?

Today in Africa,

a bitter war is being fought.

Both man and beast are dying...

and the enemies are greed,

corruption, and ignorance.

The battle is being waged

over the black rhino, sought by

poachers for its valuable horn

In the past 15 years, over 95%

of the animals

have been slaughtered.

Each day, Ranger Dolf Sasseen

patrols the Zambezi Valley,

But for this mother and calf,

he was too late.

A lot of people would say,

"What does the rhino do to

the bush?"

As a bushman you could

turn around and say,

"The rhino has been created by God

as part of creation,

we need it".

To look at it,

it's a beautiful animal

and we can live side by side.

You do not want to show to

your children one day,

How an elephant or a rhino

look in a storybook.

That's not what life

is all about.

Life is not a storybook

It is a reality.

For 45 million years,

one of the planet's most

primitive mammals wandered

the plains

and forests of the world

with little to fear.

The rhino has few

natural enemies,

but that role has

now been filled by man.

More than 30 species of

rhinoceros once existed.

Today, there are only five,

all endangered.

In Asia, the Javan, Sumatran,

and Indian rhinos

are down to critical levels.

In Africa, the white rhino is

somewhat more stable.

Closely confined in a few well

guarded South African reserves

But the black rhino is hurting

towards extinction.

If, as we say, in

the early 70s,

there were 65,000 rhino

on the continent,

We are down to 4,500 now.

That's an indictment upon

somebody or a group of

people or nations.

It's come down throughout

Africa, this disease,

this cancerous situation,

plundering our wildlife of


Through the years,

the black rhino had

already been

depleted through much of

its range.

It is the recent wave of

slaughter, though, which has

devastated the animal.

Starting in the early 70s,

poachers swept through

East Africa,

all but wiping out

the populations of Kenya,

Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia,

and Mozambique.

Now, they have begun

to threaten Zimbabwe.

In 1977, the situation took an

even more severe turn for

the worse

in Kenya's Meru National Park.

In one three month period,

the toll on the rhinos reached 53

and rangers began to

be attacked

and killed by armed

Somali poachers.

Peter Jenkins was the park's

warden during that time.

When I went to the Meru park

we had a population

of black rhino between

and then in the late 70s we

were hit by a different type

of poacher,

this was the shifta poacher

with his automatic.

And when I left Meru '81,

the population was down to

about 25.

Today, it's three.

The beginning of the

rhino's decline can

be traced back to the

mid-nineteenth century.

Modern guns were introduced

into Africa,

And killing became easy,

efficient, and popular.

Some Europeans developed a

taste for rhino meat...

others hunted for the

sheer sport of it.

When a rhino charges a man

that's nothing.

But when a man charges a rhino,

that's new.

So here you see the

tables reversed.

We are now in a with rhinos.

Osa dislikes rhinos more than

any animal on earth.

For years they have been

chasing her and here was

a chance

to give them a taste of their

won medicine.

Mr. Rhino is public enemy

number one in Africa.

He's afraid of nothing.

If your first shot doesn't

stop him, good night.

It is not hunting, however,

that poses the great threat

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    "National Geographic: The Rhino War" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 31 Jul 2021. <>.

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