Need proof that your voice really can be heard? Partially because of more then 30,000 petition signers, made via Humane Society International, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has just added the southern white rhino as a threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
While it’s certainly not good news that this beautiful creature is now considered “threatened,” it is great news that these rhinos will be listed in this status due to the fact that it will give the species eventual greater protection from poachers.
According to Humane Society International, two or three rhinos are poached every day for their horns. At this rate, many conservationists posit that these rhinos will disappear from Africa in just a few years! With this in mind, Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States worked together to help, and, eventually, “the Federal Register received more than 32,000 comments in support of the emergency listing (made initially by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).”
According to Humane Society International, “the listing places all five rhino species under the protection of United States’ law, making it easier for enforcement officials to bring rhino horn smugglers to justice.”
How’s that for impact? Thanks to our signatures, this creature may no longer have to face the cruelties of poaching: “Rhino horns fetch high prices in Asia and sold to people who consume them for the horn’s purported medical benefits. Others buy rhino horns as a status symbol. As wealth grows in Asia, more people than ever before can afford to buy rhino horn.”
And, in the U.S., criminals have been seeking a profit off of these horns, too: “In the U.S., criminals looking to profit have been caught buying up rhino horns that were legally imported into the U.S. as antiques or hunting trophies and then shipping them to Vietnam and China for sale in those countries’ lucrative, illegal marketplaces.”
But, thanks to the petition and the hard work by these organizations, we may soon see a reduction in this set of evil practices, and perhaps this rhino will live far beyond the “few years” deadline it was given. Great work, Green Monsters!
Image source: Coralie/Wikimedia Commons