Posted on Category:Animal

The Offer of Rhinos Could Lift Protection Endeavors

The Rhinos are in trouble. Poaching has decimated their numbers in the wild, and only about 22,000 Rhinos remain across Africa. Enter John Hume, a South African entrepreneur who launched a huge rhino breeding farm 15 years ago to action poaching. Hume aimed to create a sustainable horn trade, with a lawful supply of farms like his that would reduce the lure of poaching.

However, with no lawful international trade, Hume is now selling his entire 21,000-acre farm, including nearly 2,000 southern white rhinos, five hippos, 11 giraffes and hundreds of buffalo, sheep and goats. The sale will start on April 26 and will end on May 1, International Rhino Rescue Day.

Hume hopes to find buyers ‚Äúpassionate about rhino conservation and the funds to continue the breeding project.”But who could have the means and the preparation remains an open question. Taylor Tench, a senior policy analyst who specializes in rhinos at the Environmental Investigation Agency, wonders how the breeding operation benefits species in the wild.

The Hume breeding operation has helped to increase the number of rhinos in captivity, but the tench raises concerns about the financial viability of the operation for the buyer. The hope is that the buyer will be able to obtain biodiversity credits that would be rewarded for environmental protection. However, this type of credit system is not a reality.

Each buyer must cover the costs of defending the animals. Hume spends more than a month on farms, with more than half of that spent on security. Since the last poaching incident on the farm in March 2017, Hume’s Platinum Rhino Conservation Project has managed to keep poachers away, but it requires a gigantic security device consisting of helicopter patrols, a radar system and dozens of game wardens and armed dogs.

The sale could help conservation if the buyer has a real passion for rhino conservation and the financial means to continue the breeding project. The captured Rhinos could theoretically give a boost to wild populations, and reforestation remains Hume’s hope. However, the logistical and security requirements associated with finding a habitat with adequate food, water, space and security against poachers are high.

Who could buy Hume’s Rhinos? Historically, South Africa has exported hundreds of rhinos to Zoos for breeding and exhibition. Government facilities, provincial parks in South Africa, private reserves, zoological facilities or foreign countries could all be bidders for at least some of the rhinos. However, there are fears that a Chinese company could start breeding rhinos and create its own domestic horn market – Skirting cites restrictions.

The sale of Hume’s rhinos highlights the complex problems associated with the conservation of rhinos. Although captive breeding can increase the number of rhinos in captivity, it remains to be seen how this practice will benefit the species in the wild. A lawful and sustainable horn trade could be a solution to reduce the attraction of poaching, but this is not a reality.
Unfortunately, the lawful sale of rhino horns will not solve our problems. Critics say that the lawful sale of rhino horns could actually boost demand, which would give new incentives to poachers. Making commerce lawful and all these other solutions won’t really help conservation in the end. We must save the Rhinos by trapping and pursuing poachers.

A large part of the African fauna is at risk of being hunted beyond repair, as many of its species are already on the Endangered Species List. Poachers are one of the biggest threats and, unfortunately, the practice only seems to be growing. Sign this petition to demand that the US and the EU fund the Hack the Poacher platform so that we can find the poachers before they find and finish wildlife.

In the last five years, poachers have finished 138 endangered rhinos in Botswana, which is about a third of all rhinos in the region. In the previous five years, poachers have finished only two rhinos. Officials noted that this was due to the increase in demand in the market. The Botswana government and conservation organizations are doing what they can to protect the last remaining rhinos, but they need our help. Please sign this petition to call on the international community to help protect endangered Rhinos!

We can all do our part to support rhino conservation by donating to reputable organizations that support rhino conservation efforts or by signing petitions to stop rhino poaching. Let’s make sure that future generations can still admire these magnificent creatures in nature.

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