Target: Gregg Hudson, CEO of the Dallas Zoo
Goal: Stop Swaziland from legalizing the rhino horn trade by speaking out against the legislation.
Swaziland is considering legalizing rhino horn trafficking. This cruel practice led to the deaths of over 1,338 African rhinos last year alone, and there aren’t that many to spare. Of the two kinds of African rhinos, black rhinos and white rhinos, black rhinos are an endangered species while white rhinos are a near threatened species.
Earlier this year, the Dallas Zoo imported five elephants from Swaziland, allegedly in an effort to preserve rhino habitats that the elephants were damaging. Insist the Dallas Zoo show its commitment to rhino conservation and fight this inhumane practice.
The Dallas Zoo portrayed its acquisition of these elephants as a conservation effort. It said that the animals would be killed if the zoo refused to take them. However, animal rights groups begged to differ. Organizations such as In Defense of Animals and Friends of Animals both opposed the move. Friends of Animals went so far as to file a federal court lawsuit against the importation of these elephants.
In return for these animals, the Dallas Zoo agreed to pay $450,000 for rhino conservation, along with the Sedgwick County Zoo and the Henry Doorly Zoo, which also received elephants. It is time for the Dallas Zoo to demonstrate that it has the interests of these animals–both elephants and rhinos–at heart and insist that trade in rhino horns remain illegal.
During the past 13 years, trade in illegal African rhino horn has increased 30 times over, and there is every reason to believe that legalization of this trade would endanger African rhinos still further. After a recent legal sale of ivory to Japan and China, over 100,000 elephants were killed because of increased demand in Asian markets. A similar demand increase could occur if rhino horn trafficking is legalized. If legalization occurs, consumers would no longer be stigmatized for buying horn and thus would be more likely to do so.
There are only 73 white rhinos left in Swaziland. An increase in poaching there could be devastating. Swaziland’s proposal to legalize rhino horn trafficking puts these endangered and threatened species at high risk. Urge the Dallas Zoo to stand behind its conservation claims and prevent the deaths of these animals.
Dear Mr. Hudson,
Swaziland’s proposal to legalize trade in rhino horns must not go forward. Last year, more than 1,338 rhinos were killed for their horns. African black rhinos are an endangered species and African white rhinos are a near threatened species. There aren’t so many left that we can allow them to be preyed upon for consumer markets.
Your zoo took on the challenge of rhino conservation when it accepted five elephants from Swaziland that allegedly threatened their habitats. Prove to the world that you are committed to the preservation of these rare and important animals.
Legalizing rhino trade would not help save African rhinos. Recently, over 100,000 elephants were killed by poachers due to an increased demand in Asian markets resulting from a 2008 legal ivory sale. Rhinos could suffer a similar fate if Swaziland’s proposal is put into action.
There are only 73 white rhinos left in Swaziland and that population could be decimated if rhino horn trade is made legal. Swaziland’s proposal to legalize rhino horn trade must be stopped. Speak out to halt this proposal and let your costumers know that you care about the fate of this cherished species.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Sias van Schalkwyk