Today is the five-year anniversary of the triple rhino poaching that took place at Kariega Game Reserve on 2 March 2012. While this event served as a devastating and poignant moment for all of us at Kariega, the story of how rhino Thandi survived this brutal attack gained massive traction globally and has created major awareness around the plight of the rhino.
Thandi’s courage inspired numerous individuals and organisations to join the fight against rhino poaching. But has this cumulative effort, energy and passion been enough?
Rhino Poaching Statistics
The estimated 2016 statistics for the number of rhinos poached in South Africa were recently released by OSCAP (Outraged South African Citizens Against Rhino Poaching). The organisation reported that 1,100 rhinos were illegally killed for their horns by poachers during 2016. This number is very slightly less than the 1,175 rhinos poached in 2015, but the numbers are still alarming high. The situation continues to be gravely serious.
Over the past three years an average of three rhinos were brutally attacked and killed by poachers every day. This death rate continues to be the case in 2017 so far.
The number of rhino poached each year in South Africa since 2012 are as follows:
2012 : 668 rhino poached
2013 : 1004 rhino poached
2014 : 1215 rhino poached
2015 : 1175 rhino poached
2016 : 1110 rhino poached
2017 : 129 rhino poached to date
Dramatic Shift In Human Consciousness
Poaching continues to be a massive threat. When we consider the enormous resources and efforts that are already going into saving our rhino, this is a disheartening truth and begs us to question what exactly needs to shift in order for poaching to end. It is a multi-layered and complex problem involving economics, policies, cultural beliefs and poverty – but in reality the solution is simple. We need a massive shift in human consciousness that embraces and values the interconnectedness of all life on earth. Treading gently, considering the impact of each step we take with the intention of preserving and protecting our natural heritage will be the natural consequence of this shift.
Courage, Hope and Celebrating Small Victories
While the shift has happened in many who have visited Kariega or been touched by the story of Thandi, the road to a shift in mass consciousness may still be long. We cannot rest or become complacent. We must continue to draw strength and inspiration from our poaching survivor Thandi and her off-spring Thembi and Colin. They show us what is required for ultimate success – Courage (Thandi), Hope (Thembi) and pausing to celebrate every small victory along the way (Colin).
Read more about the poaching of Thandi, Themba and the unnamed bull on 2 March 2012.
Get Involved to Save Rhino
You can join the collective efforts of many and join the fight to save our rhino. Please also consider making a donation to the Kariega Foundation Save The Rhino Fund. Thank you!