As poachers continue to relentlessly slaughter South Africa’s rhino to the brink of extinction, a novel approach is being executed to desperately try and turn the tide on poaching. Five white rhino have been transported from Johannesburg to Shanghai, China, where the demand for rhino horn is high.
It’s hoped that by sending these rhino, it will raise awareness about their plight… and help curb the demand for rhino horn, and thereby end the ruthless killing of South Africa’s precious wildlife.
The demand from Asia – particularly from China and Vietnam – is the main threat to the existence of the rhinoceros. Some Asian communities are under the misguided belief that the rhino horn contains medicinal value.
Others believe it is a status symbol to proudly display in their homes… but hopefully, once these buyers realise the blood that was shed and that their purchases are helping kill an entire species… simply for a materialistic whim, they will be filled with more horror and shame than pride.
The five white rhinos that have been sent to China each weigh about one ton.
According to a media release by Ogilvy, the operation was carried out under the supervision of specialised teams and keepers.
Ogilvy says: “White rhinos are endangered due to the illegal hunting for their horns, and the presence of these animals in China is designed to raise awareness about their plight and about the disastrous effect of poaching.”
The rhino were flown via Istanbul by Turkish Cargo which “only performs live animal carrying operations between qualified zoos and private institutions or acknowledged preservation and rehabilitation centers, in order to prevent illegal animal trafficking.”
The operations are carried out in strict adherence to IATA’s Live Animals Regulations which detail acceptance, storage and shipment processes and provide documentation, encaging, labelling and marking guidelines.
(P.S. SAPeople has requested further information about the operation, and we will update as soon as we have answers.)