Heartbreaking Video Shows the Grim Reality of Poaching as Baby Rhino Mourns Its Dead Mother
This is one of the saddest videos that we have shared. It perfectly illustrates the horror of wildlife poaching and the brutal consequences of the trade in wildlife products. A mother rhino has been killed by poachers and her horn has been brutally torn from her body. Meanwhile, her calf is clearly very distressed by what has happened. She is trying to suckle from her dead mother’s body. At least there is some good news at the end of this tragic situation. We learn from the video that the calf is rescued and raised in a refuge. She was named Lottie. Whilst this is nowhere near a happy ending, at least this beautiful wild animal got a chance at life.
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Where Do Rhinos Normally Live?
In Africa, there are two native species of rhinoceros. White rhinos are mainly found in South Africa but they have recently been re-introduced into Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. Also, the southern white rhino has been introduced to Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Côte d’Ivoire. Black rhinos on the other hand live mainly in South Africa but there are also populations in Cameroon and Kenya. Overall, the black rhino population has declined by over 97 percent since 1960.
What Are the Threats to Black Rhino Numbers?
In the wild, both black and white rhino adults have no natural predators. However, they are both hunted by humans for their horns. The major trade in rhino horns is in Asia where they are used as ornaments and in traditional medicine. Rhino horns are made from keratin which is the same substance that you find in human hair and nails. There is no evidence that they can cure cancer or any other conditions or diseases.
Habitat loss is also a major threat to rhino numbers. As human populations in the area grow, human activities impact on the rhino’s resources. The agricultural, logging, transport, and building industries all destroy natural rhino habitats.
What Can Be Done to Protect Rhinos?
Organizations such as the African Wildlife Foundation are taking steps to save rhinos from extinction. These include engaging the public and spreading public awareness of the illegal rhino horn trade. They have also constructed rhino sanctuaries and have recruited wildlife scouts. This organization is also calling for increased surveillance on the ground and wants to strengthen the laws surrounding rhino protection.