Wildlife poaching remains an ever-present threat to the lives of African elephants and rhinos. It is estimated that one African elephant is killed for their ivory every fifteen minutes, and wildlife experts fear that the species could be extinct in twenty years’ time unless stronger efforts are made to combat the ivory trade. Meanwhile, the outlook for rhinos is just as bleak, if not more so.
Nola, one of the last remaining Northern White Rhinos on the planet, passed away last November. With only one male and two females left – each with limited reproductive capacity – it is likely that her species will now die out during her lifetime. They became extinct in the wild back in 2006. The Western Black Rhino was declared extinct in 2013 while the Javan Rhino suffered the same fate in 2011.
The heartbreaking fate of the world’s rhinos has been captured in a single photo. The image was taken by Ami Vitale for National Geographic and shows a newly orphaned rhino being comforted by human caretakers.
He looks as though he barely has the strength to go on.
The heartrending picture of this baby shows us that his fate, and the fate of all other rhinos, truly rests in human hands. The decisions that we make in the coming months and years have the power to determine whether they will be given the chance to flourish once more … or whether they will leave our planet forever. Here are a few examples of how you can help them:
- First things first: NEVER buy a product made of ivory.
- Help raise awareness about the plight of rhinos by sharing articles on the subject, including:
- 10 Simple Ways YOU Can Help Stop Wildlife Poaching Today
- Is Dehorning Rhinos to Protect Them From Poachers Really a Good Idea?
- The Important Lesson We Can Learn From Gertjie, the Orphaned Rhino Who Will Help Save This Species
- 10 Groups Working to Protect Animals Targeted by Poachers
- Urgent! The Black Rhino Needs Your Help to Stop Trophy Hunters
- Get involved with one of the many fantastic organizations working to save rhinos, including:
- Take part in the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos this coming October, in which concerned animal lovers all over the world march through the streets of their local cities, demanding change. Detailed information about the cities participating in the 2016 march will be available closer to the time.
Image source: Ami Vitale