From Dr. Goodall


“The elephants and rhinos need YOU.

As I am sure you know, the increase in poaching has been horrific. In Africa, elephants and rhinos are killed every day – simply for their tusks and their horns. If this cannot be stopped soon they will become extinct.

On October 3rd & 4th concerned citizens, young and old alike, will march in a show of solidarity to demonstrate their concern for this slaughter.

August 12 was World Elephant Day and September 22nd was World Rhino Day. I posted comments about both of these days on my blog
Rhinos, in Africa and Asia, need help. Along with the shrinking of their habitats, the killing of rhinos for the illegal trade in their horns is bringing the various species close to extinction.

Rangers on the ground risk their lives to try to protect the wildlife in their care, but when huge sums of money get involved the international criminal gangs come into the picture with helicopters and assault weapons. Many rangers actually lose their lives. It is desperately important to support efforts to educate the local people in the range countries. And desperately important to work on eliminating the demand for rhino horn, especially in Vietnam, for its supposed medicinal benefits – which, of course, is not true. Fortunately more and more people are waking up to their plight. There are many organizations around the world that are helping to protect rhinos, supporting efforts on the ground, raising money, raising awareness.

I hope that you will do your best to help. I have not seen rhinos in Asia, but I have spent many hours watching both black rhinos and white rhinos in Africa They are part of the African landscape, and it would be a tragedy if we allow them to become extinct.

And one other thing – people think rhinos are lumbering and stupid. Not true. My first ever safari in Africa, in 1957 was travelling with the Leakeys to the now famous Olduvai Gorge. At that time none of the famous fossils of early hominids had been found there, no one knew about the place, it was wild, untamed Africa. And one rhino, named Gertrude by the Leakeys, was always hanging out in one spot – and she LOVED pineapples! So we stopped and put them on the ground and watched, from a distance, as she approached to enjoy her once a year treat!

And if you want to be really amazed, Google “Mechi the painting rhino” and watch the first posting. Recently I was allowed behind the scenes to visit a newborn white rhino in Lion country Safaris. As we watched mother and child, two adults approached to see what was going on. They are really curious animals. When they got really close, our guide threw a small rock just in front of them. Of course, they had to stop to investigate!

If you can, do try and join a march near you. (
And if there is no march near you – perhaps you can organize something – anything. Get a group of your friends and hold up signs.

Find a t-shirt with an elephant or rhino. There will be a good deal of traffic on the internet about this – learn about the horrific situation and spread the message. You can use Facebook, you can tweet and twitter. Social media is a powerful tool. We must NOT let them go extinct without doing our bit to help save them.

If I could join one of the groups marching I most certainly would.
I shall be with you all in spirit, and will be thinking of you.”
— Dr Jane Goodall


About msomiafrica

Author, photographer and conservationist who sincerely prefers interacting with animals rather than people.
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