Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Tale of the Rhinoceros

Today morning I was disturbed by the news of the extinction of the West African Black Rhinoceros. Maybe it was because of Captain Planet, maybe it was just basic human decency but the way we abuse our Earth is something that has troubled me since I could comprehend it. I remember I made a huge speech on the possible extinction of the rhino when I was 9, that is in 2000. In 2011, one subspecies has disappeared from the face of the Earth for good.

Rhinoceroses are hunted for their horns. Their horn is made up of the exact same material as our nails. Even though their horns can be removed painlessly, it is far easier to kill the animal than persuade a one-tonne short sighted herbivore to give up it's horn. Besides, its slow speed and weight will make it vulnerable without its horn that it is as good as killing the rhino.

The demand is from Asian countries who believe powdered rhino horn have medicinal properties. The belief is so strong, that the material costs as much as gold supposedly. With both demand and big money, poachers are always increasing.

Back in our country, we have an indigenous species, the Indian Rhinoceros which is one-horned unlike the African counterpart. Fearing what its state of preservation is, I was searching for information on it. Luckily, it is not critically endangered due to the Kaziranga National park in Assam.

I was pleasantly surprised to know that this park was established by Mary Curzon, the wife of Lord Curzon. Lord Curzon was a champion of divide-and-conquer politics and split Bengal into religious halves - East and West Bengal. Which is why we will always have West Bengal to the East of our country. For once, I'm happy to see his name. Mary Curzon's initial effort no doubt helped make it an important site for government investment. She realized the declining numbers even when they were wildly roaming across Asia.

Though we can momentarily relax as far as the Indian rhinoceros is concerned, I wonder what will happen when the demand becomes too high. There are only two solutions that appeal to me - cut the demand and fund anti-poaching.

I do not know how to cut the demand, all I can conjecture is to spread awareness and hopefully it will finally reach the consumers. There are films being made I heard. I know this blog post is not going to be of any actual concrete use. But I wanted to rant about. People share their two cents on everything that disturbs them and we as a nation love registering when we are offended. I am offended by this senseless killing. I understand we are surviving because we are the fittest but that freedom should come with some responsibility. Species are inevitable going to disappear due to the expansion of human population and our consumerist tendencies that is trashing the planet. When we have destroyed so much, it really makes no sense to kill animals to extinction.

To fund anti-poaching, visit here. There are similar sites in India as well but I have to verify the authenticity of the sites.

And if you really want to be consumerist about it, get a few save the rhino T-Shirts :P

No comments:

Post a Comment