Defenseless giants Reserve Hluhluwe-Imfolozi
• Defenseless giants Reserve Hluhluwe-Imfolozi
In the past two years in South Africa broke the real war between the poachers and those who are there to protect endangered animals. Since the beginning of the year more than 700 rhinos were killed in South Africa's reserves, which exceeded their fertility. To combat the illegal killing of animals in South Africa involved forces of the army and police, unmanned flying machines and the whole repressive apparatus of the state. Dozens of poachers were killed in a shootout with Rangers and police, hundreds went to jail. But the success of these measures do not bring. The reason for this situation is commonplace. Smuggling and trafficking of rhino horns came out on top in the world in terms of profitability, ahead of the drugs and arms trade. A pair of horns bring the black market traders hundreds of thousands of dollars of net profit.
According to the organizations involved in monitoring the illegal trade in wild animals and plants, today horns come primarily in Vietnam. Surge in demand for horn coincided with the spread of rumors that a senior Vietnamese official using horn cured of cancer. Last year alone, here, according to some sources, it was imported more than a ton of horns. Another cause of poaching activity in Africa was the fact that the last Sumatran rhino in the Mekong Delta, was killed in 2010. Number of rhino in neighboring Indonesia and Malaysia was reduced to 400 individuals. At the same time oriental medicine still requires use crushed rhino horn as a remedy for all diseases. A similar situation was observed in the 60-70-ies, when, due to the uncontrolled destruction of rhinos were on the verge of extinction in South Africa. At that time, the authorities managed to stop the process and return back, thanks to the program "Fortress for rhinos." Authorities KwaZulu-Natal began airing wild rhinos to private land to increase the number and genetic diversity of these animals. Private reserves took rhinos to save, and some livestock rhinos became their property with the right of sale. In the 30 years of the program the number of rhinos in the country increased reserves earned money, and now 18,000 white and 2,000 black rhinos (80% of all rhinos in the world) live on the territory of South Africa.
The lion's share of all horned giants South Africa is home to the reserve Hluhluwe-Imfolozi. Rhinos killed by poachers reserve bullets at an alarming rate. Only 2 weeks of my stay two female white rhino were killed there. Despite the intimidating appearance and huge size, these animals are almost defenseless against the man. In white rhinos very poor vision and hearing, to approach them very close, without attracting attention, not too difficult. One well-aimed shots in the temporal part of the head is enough to kill the giant.
Hunt Rhino is very easy. Adults defecate in certain areas, the so-called median. Median - a kind of rhinoceros forum of information exchange place. Many times we passed these medians at the intersections of roads with rhino trails.
In the reserve common white rhino. White called him by the British error, misinterpreted Wijde Dutch word, meaning wide. The lower lip white rhino - wide, in contrast to the black. This form allows you to mow the grass rhino as a scythe.
White rhinos are distinguished by their black counterparts in larger sizes and calm character. Picture when Rhino comes close to the car, not uncommon in Hluhluwe.
Meet the black rhino is not easy. They differ from their "white" counterparts smaller size and very good hearing. If White rhinos graze, as a rule, in open spaces where there is dense grass, the black rhinos live in the woods and thickets and eat leaves, which tear with his lips.
This female was photographed with calf near watering hole on the second day of stay in the reserve. The next day we learned that poachers killed her far from this place. Many days over its carcass could be seen circling vultures.
rhino horn can reach one and a half meters in length.
Since the repressive measures do not bring the desired result, in recent years there were different ideas that can save the rhino from extinction. The first - with the economic background. There were farms, which grow rhino horn to get them. If you cut off the horn of 80 cm above the ground, it grows back again, as the wool of sheep. Rhino horns are cut under anesthesia and after 20 minutes he quietly grazing, and the horn goes to the refrigerator. I think this is a good solution. The second method - a cardinal. Rhinoceros horn is injected into a poisonous substance, supposedly harmless for most horn carrier, but making it dangerous for consumers. All anything, but with pink rhino horns - it seems to me, too, violence against nature. To finish the story of the Hluhluwe Reserve can not forget about the elephants. Still other giants that are targeted by poachers and the international cartels on trade in animals. A few times we have met with herds of females with cubs. Elephants in Hluhluwe more comfortable with the people than in the Tembe. Here is a female with a cub is 10 meters away from us, but did not show much aggression. Rather, it is a gesture of warning.
- Well go already, go, do not see people watching.
This is the stage we have seen from afar, when they went on their own, the elephant trail.
They soon appeared on the road. The first came out on the road the older female. He stood across the road and waited for all the flock not get out of the bushes.
Next, on the road there was a whole herd from small to large.
The oldest female is still waiting for all catch up.
Now, in a way. The eldest bringing up the rear.