2013 - Ongoing
Botswana; South Africa; Zimbabwe; United Kingdom
Across Africa, rhinos are fighting for survival as the global poaching crisis enters its second decade. But there is hope.
In South Africa, where there is growing support for the consumptive use of rhinos and the legalisation of the trade in horn, vets are fighting to save the survivors of poaching attacks and give them a second chance at life, while others dedicate their lives to saving the orphans that lost their mothers to poaching.
Across the border in Botswana, where there were no rhinos left in the wild by 1992, huge efforts are underway to rebuild the rhino populations that the country lost to poaching by introducing rhinos from South Africa. Botswana is leading the way to recovery for Africa’s rhinos. This includes increased protection of its rhinos and local education.
All of this killing of rhinos has been to feed the demand for rhino horn in the Far East, where it is believed – wrongly – that the product has medicinal properties. The demand, coupled with the risk involved in attaining it, has led to rhino horn – a growth consisting of the same material as our finger nails – becoming more valuable than gold.
Beating poaching requires education, security and round-the-clock rhino monitoring. I joined the ground and aerial teams at Rhino Conservation Botswana and other projects on the frontline to capture the photographs for this story.
From what I saw, I feel there is hope…