Good morning! How is everyone’s week going so far? Let me tell you this jet lag business is no joke! I had no problems with it while in South Africa but here…I arrived home last Friday morning and only yesterday did I finally start feeling like myself again. It could be more work-lag than jet lag though 🙂
While driving the lovely country roads to our lodge in Marloth Park in South Africa as well as within Kruger National Park, we saw several cars sporting a funky red horns- similar to our red Rudolph reindeer nose car decorations for the holidays.
Naturally curious, we asked our game drive guide Robert about them. He said they represent the rhino anti-poaching movement in South Africa. According to Rhinoseday.com,”South Africa is home to more rhinos than any other country on earth, but sadly increasing numbers of these giants are being illegally killed for their horn, mainly fueled by the demand from the Asian traditional medicine trade…”. What’s really scary are these stats on the numbers of rhino deaths over the years:
- 2007: 13 (about one a month)
- 2008: 83 (one every 4 days)
- 2009: 122 (one every 3 days)
- 2010: 333 (about one a day)
- 2011: 448 (one every 19 hours)
- 2012: 668 (one every 13 hours)
- 2013: 82 in the first 36 days of the year (one every 10 hours).
Is that not ridiculous?
I remember learning about the horrific elephant tusk poaching when I was younger, mainly from watching A Far Off Place a zillion times…But I digress.
I had no idea poaching was still a such a problem- haven’t we evolved beyond this?
Robert continued to say that Rhino poaching is huge in Kruger National Park, even though the park has many poacher hunters roaming the park round the clock. My heart broke with each passing rhino horn-adorned car, and seeing these guys made it crazy clear they mean business:
I wanted so much to stay and help those hunters myself, but I think my family and boyfriend would be a bit upset with my permanent stay doing something kind of dangerous. Even though I couldn’t stay, I did find a way I could help right away:
While only a tiny contribution on my part, I believe every bit helps. I snagged a bunch of these Rhino Force bracelets to hand out to friends to help spread the word about the rhino poaching. I really wish I could quit my job and help save all animals that are being poached. Sadly, grad school loans will keep me at my 9-5 for another few years. But there are still ways we can help!
Donate: Save the Rhino International Inc (SRI Inc) is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization, EIN 31-1758236. Donations to Save the Rhino International Inc are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Fund-raise: Make some rhino cookies and have a bake sale!
If you’re a teacher, have your kids host a book sale! Ask for donations at your next birthday instead of presents! (ok, I know that’s a stretch, so I’ll let it slide if you choose a bake sale instead 🙂
And for you brave and able souls: Volunteer ! Head to South Africa and fight those poachers with whatever you have! Your curling irons, your (never used) mop!
–I kid I kid. But the link highlighted has information on opportunities to volunteer on site.
If you’re still not convinced, read these Ten Good Reasons to learn more about why we should save the Rhinos.
In an effort to spread awareness even more (well, and to share a bit of the loot I brought back from South Africa), I am giving away these snazzy Rhino Force bracelets to two lucky readers!
How to enter this giveaway: Simply leave a comment about why you’d like to win a bracelet! Earn additional entries by tweeting: ” I just entered to win a #savetherhino bracelet from @Shortqtpie ! http://wp.me/p1XMjO-gK ” Just leave a second comment that you tweeted!
I will randomly pick the winners on Monday!