There is something infinitely healing in the assurance that the pink wash of dawn always breaks free from the long dark night and the fresh breath of spring seduces the coldness out of the winter days. I am sitting watching an autumn breeze blowing through the trees, stealing the foliage and leaving the branches bare. What strikes me though…is nature knows best. There is not the heavy silence of loss. These bare branches will soon sprout and turn green again. However, when an elephant or rhino is poached, the soft weary tread of feet on the road is ………no more.………just the hush of death and the mournful ballad of the coucal.
Extinction is forever.
Africa’s bush, a grand and wondrous spectacle awash in colours and odours is under constant attack. Godless scenes of destruction and cruelty are encountered on a daily basis by the brave Rangers doing their utmost to keep the wildlife safe. Wheeling vultures circle and a foul miasmic presence leads the rangers in this case to a scene so horrific…it defies description. Consumers of rhino horn..LOOK at what your demand is doing to these magnificent and prehistoric animals.
As you grind your rhino horn mixture..take a deep breath and feel the intense and burning pain of this animal left in a sticky pool of blood. Not only has this poor animal’s horn been brutally chopped and torn from it’s face, her eyes have been hacked out leaving her blind. WHY ? This black rhino was found staggering around, her large head blistering like a sweltering inferno as it hangs heavy and low to the ground. Brushstrokes of blood pool deep in the shadows and deeper currents of greed blow on the breeze. This is a barbaric act that needs to be seen and told to the deluded consumers of rhino horn.
A week ago animal lovers (myself included), the world over marched for elephants and rhinos across 136 cities and across six continents. The howling of a frustrated wind as we all stood together as one voice refusing to allow these animals to fall through the ever widening cracks into chaos. As time disappears in dusky sunlight and smoke, rhinos and elephants lives fade like passing shadows and a week on from the marches..the slaughter continues. However, we must not give up hope. During these dark and turbulent times, we need to regroup and weave a future for these animals from the tangled past.
PLEASE DO NOT LOOK THE OTHER WAY : WE ALL NEED TO PLAY A PART…NO MATTER HOW SMALL
Lisa Groenweg had decided that she could not turn a blind eye to the destruction and started Chengeta Wildlife. She shook up fellow Quora members by raising a huge amount of money in 24 hours….showing that where there is a will to participate and make a difference..it happens.
For anti-poaching activist and forestry expert Rory Young, his passion for saving the African elephant from deadly poachers involves a detailed field manual and arming local teams with firearms to combat what he calls, “well-armed, ruthless and experienced gangs of poachers.
I have been asked and have accepted with great honour and delight a position on Chengeta Wildlife’s Board of Directors.
‘Rangers and scouts are brave men who risk their lives to protect wildlife. They may face heavily armed poachers, sometimes ex-guerrilla fighters hired by ivory smuggling syndicates. These rangers need to have the best training and anti-poaching strategy possible and that is what Chengeta Wildlife provide.’
‘The programme is already proving successful as anti-poaching operations undertaken as part of the training uncovered several poaching syndicates operating in the area, some with links to neighboring Mozambique and as far away as China, highlighting the global scale of the poaching problem. Arrests were made and the culprits handed over to the appropriate authorities.‘
I will do what I can to raise awareness and funds for Chengeta Wildlife and ensure that Rory Young can continue to offer first class training to Rangers throughout Africa.
Under an African sky that is as limitless as it is wide, a world of corruption, violence and greed mars the beauty of this sun baked land and when there is a demand..money talks.
Inside these factories, Chinese carvers with masks covering their noses and mouths sit hunched over their desks. Under bright artificial strip lights, the ivory tusk lies lifeless. Please do not look at the ivory as a commodity. Run your hand down the length of the tusk and imagine the bubbling mass of exuberance that is an elephant.. a breathing and iconic animal that has emotions on a par with man.
The large wrinkled noble head and muscular trunk is lifted, tasting the sweetness on the breeze. She is a dab hand at assisting in birth and she senses that the new calf will soon join her herd. The warm and heavy evening exhales slowly, appearing to hold its breath as the excited cows , temporal glands flowing sing in multi-layered cadences encouraging the pregnant cow as she bears down. As the mornings slow lazy light caresses the hills, a new miracle is taking its first shaky steps as long wrinkled and powerful trunks offer a gentle welcome. The excitement is shattered by the cruel barking of automatic fire as the new miracle of life and all the excited cows slump heavily onto the ground.
These are the tusks that are stolen from elephants and any legal carving or trade is a conduit and and cover for China’s vast illegal market. While Zhao Shucong as China’s State Forrestry Administrator continues to license China’s 37 Carving factories and 140 ivory retail outlets, elephant families like the one above will continue to be callously slaughtered and their mutilated bodies left to swell and rot under the burning African sun.
Run your eyes over that magnificent tusk intricately carved with a herd of elephants..ivory bodies gleaming under the light. This large tusk belonged to a middle aged matriarch, her head full of knowledge yet to be passed on to her daughter.