2013 - South Africa

 

Thank you to Steve Lyon for inviting me to this magnificent human adventure during the1000 km trek across South Africa following in the footsteps of the rhinoceros poachers, along with the best pikers (trackers) Fritz Breytenbach, Simon Ngwenya, Courtney Steyn, Rudi Venter.

Thanks also to wildlife filmmakers Russell Owen MacLaughlin, Brent Leo Smith, Werner Maritz and wildlife preservationist Lorinda Hern from "Rhino Rescue Mission”.

The harsh reality of the field  after apartheid is no longer on paper but remains well present near the parks which have always been predominantly held by the same families for generations.

Money, as everywhere, has no smell and it is not difficult to find apprentice poachers in the township ready for anything. They dream of ‘being’ by ‘having’ and getting out of misery.  While the strong demand for Rhino's horn from the untouchable Asian Syndicates remains, they will be more eager to accept corruption -from ordinary citizens to the highest spheres of the state ...

We live impotent the last hours of the age of the wild rhinos.  

The tourism industry in natural parks must be rewritten so that the whole community can also have access and be able to benefit from the revenues it provides. The gap is widening more every day between those who profit from this and those who don’t, with the greatest indifference from the politicians. We are impotent witnesses of the disappearance of the last wild rhinoceros ... We are no longer very far from this tragic scenario: “once  upon a time there existed a majestic animal, last survivor of the prehistory, endowed with pretended magic horns that had not much more power that the one of having led to its loss by the hand of man, hungry for sexual performance and pretended miracle cures of certain cancers ....”

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