Target: Ray Dearlove, Founder of the Australian Rhino Project
Goal: Applaud initiative to rescue and house 80 critically endangered rhinos.
Eighty rhinos will be relocated from South Africa to Australia in an attempt to save the species from extinction. After a period of quarantine, the animals will be placed in a wildlife reserve to establish a breeding herd. These rhinos will be safe from poaching, the single largest contributor to population decline in the past five decades, and will be returned to South Africa when the poaching epidemic is under control.
Poachers target these animals for their large horns, which are made of keratin, the same material as human fingernails. The horns are rumored in traditional Asian medicine to help cure everything from fever, headaches, and vomiting to “devil possession.” The average horn is sold for up to $500,000, with the proceeds going to organized crime syndicates connected to drug trafficking and weapon smuggling.
Because of poaching, rhinos are now extinct in many of the areas they once inhabited, with only a few thousand remaining alive in the wild today. Last year, a record 1,400 rhinos were killed, or just over three per day. Currently, the animals are being killed at a far greater rate than they are reproducing, putting them at immediate risk of extinction.
This new initiative will act as something of an insurance policy, allowing the animals to thrive in a controlled environment where they are safe from barbaric poachers. Should South Africa successfully address its poaching epidemic, these rhinos and their descendants will re-populate the country’s wildlife refuges. Sign the petition below to praise this innovative and ambitious new plan.
Dear Mr. Dearlove,
The Australian Rhino Project intends to facilitate the relocation of 80 critically endangered rhinos from South Africa to Australia. The rhinos will be housed in a wildlife park where they will be protected from poachers by security staff and robust endangered species protection laws. The plan will see the rhinos returned to South African wildlife refuges once effective anti-poaching measures have been implemented.
Rhinos, which are being killed by poachers at rates faster than they can reproduce, are in danger of imminent extinction. This initiative will give the rhinoceros a much better chance at long-term survival. We, the undersigned, praise your ambitious efforts to secure the survival of this incredible animal.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jonathunder