Bat­tle will soon be lost as we fail our duty to pro­tect rhi­nos

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS -

IF A child is found to have been badly abused by its par­ents, or other im­me­di­ate fam­ily, the au­thor­i­ties may step in and take that child into care.

The safety of the young­ster is paramount and must take prece­dence over the “rights” of par­ents.

Surely then our wildlife, par­tic­u­larly our rhi­noc­eros, is a per­fect corol­lary.

The peo­ple of South Africa, to­gether with the Parks Board, are the guardians of the rhino.

Un­for­tu­nately we are fail­ing in our duty. We are los­ing our an­i­mals; de­spite the ef­forts of many brave and ded­i­cated peo­ple work­ing to save the crea­tures, the bat­tle will soon be lost.

I sug­gest there­fore that to be­gin with, the rhino must be taken into care. As custodians we have failed th­ese mag­nif­i­cent, rapidly van­ish­ing crea­tures.

South Africa must nat­u­rally be given the op­por­tu­nity to do­nate the re­main­ing rhi­nos to a coun­try where they will be safe (Aus­tralia and Amer­ica are pos­si­bil­i­ties), oth­er­wise the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity must in­ter­vene and take the “chil­dren” away.

The cost? It will be vast, of course, but some­how the money must be found.

The new par­ents won’t be long in re­coup­ing what­ever they may have in­vested, for mil­lions will flock to see th­ese for­eign an­i­mals liv­ing peace­fully in a new, se­cure en­vi­ron­ment.

We must be­gin with say 50 rhi­nos, and then, should there still be any left in their coun­try of ori­gin, we might send more.

Un­less some­thing rev­o­lu­tion­ary is done the rhino and the ele­phants and much more of this coun­try’s unique wildlife will be ex­tinct long be­fore the cen­tury’s end.

Michael V McCabe

Ruim­sig, Rood­e­poort

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