Target: South African President, Jacob Zuma
Goal: Halt the surge of rhino horn trafficking in the black market
There are only about 30,000 rhinos left in the world due to poachers killing them for their horns, which are sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars each. Many of these horns are hacked off of a rhino while it is still alive. It’s then left to suffer and die.
The demand for rhinoceros horns has risen because of Asia’s interest in the horns for their medicinal properties and are also considered a sign of wealth. Rhino horns contain keratin, which is the same material found in hair and nails, and is worth as much as gold on the black market. The drive for these horns has caused a record 1,020 rhinoceros deaths this year alone. The Internet has also expedited the coordinating of smuggled goods, leading to an increase in horn sales.
Since 2013, more than 2,000 rhino horns have been trafficked from South Africa, which is 30 times more than in 2000. Conservation groups have worked feverishly to do what they can to protect rhinos from poachers, but the fact is that they need more funding in order to be successful. Some conservation efforts involve tranquilizing rhinos and transporting them to secret locations in Botswana where they are supposedly safer, but this is an expensive task. It costs an estimated $4.5 million. However, many would say it is worth the price when the alternative is to let the number of rhinos dwindle until they become extinct.
Rhinos are already endangered and without taking immediate action, their numbers will decrease rapidly until they vanish completely. Please sign the petition below to call for increased funding to protect the rhino population.
Dear President Zuma,
As I’m sure you know, the rhinoceros population in South Africa is in dire need of intervention. Despite conservation efforts, the rhino population has been decreasing dramatically due to poachers killing them for their horns to supply the demand in Asia.
The illegal trafficking of rhino horns is a lucrative business and horns are now worth the same price as gold. Conservation efforts have resorted to tranquilizing rhinos and moving them to secret locations in Botswana, but it is a pricey endeavor that needs funding If we do not combat this issue now, the rhino population could go from endangered to extinct very quickly.
Rhinos do not deserve to be poached for their horns and conservation efforts need more help to preserve this species. Please consider putting more funding into South Africa’s protection of endangered rhinos so that their population does not drop to an even more dangerous number.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: public domain via Wikipedia