22 September 2013 was World Rhino Day. To celebrate here is a bit of Rhino Art.
So far this year over 600 rhinos have been poached in South Africa. Last year we lost the last known remaining Western Black Rhino Diceros bicornis longipes, (found in Western Africa), and reports regarding the Northern White Rhino Ceratotherium simum cottoni population in the DRC say that the last remaining few have disappeared. Rhino horn is used in Traditional Medicine in places like Vietnam, China, and Japan and is used in the handles of Ceremonial Daggers in various Middle Eastern countries. Rhino horn is made up of layer upon layer of carotene – the same material you fingernails and hair are made up of. There is no current scientific proof that the ground-up horn can cure any illness. The ground-up horn has been used for centuries in Traditional Medicines and now with such a huge increase in population plus a very large increase in the rise of the middle class and wealthier people Rhino Horn is given as a gift to show status in the same countries that use it for Traditional Medicine. This has caused a ridiculous surge in poaching of rhinos most specifically in South Africa which has the largest populations of both Black Rhino Diceros bicornis and Southern White Rhino Ceratotherium simum simum. It is a sad and scary thought that due to human greed and the need for materialistic gain my future grandchildren may never see these amazing creatures alive and free-roaming the wilds of Africa. Here is to hoping the poaching slaughter can be stopped and the rhino population will not have to be brought back from the verge of extinction once more. I would also like to thank Dr. Ian Player for his work during his lifetime to bring the populations of rhino in South Africa back from the brink. Without him and other conservationist like him, we would have already lost these magnificent creatures…
Nikon with Nikkor 55-300mm lens: D7000 1/800 sec, f/8.0, 300mm, ISO 200
We had been watching these bulls tussle for a while when they started to get really serious. The bull in the back was taking huge shots at the bull in the front as well as another smaller bull. These two came racing towards our bakkie and I was able to knock off a few shots even.
Nikon D80 with 70-300mm lens: 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, 300mm, ISO 400, Flash did not fire
‘Thirsty Bull’ Namibia – Nikon D80 1/3200 sec, f/5.6, 70mm, ISO 400, Flash did not fire
A thirsty herd of Namibian elephants makes it’s way to the water hole – Nikon D80 with 70-300mm lens 1/2000 sec, f/5.6, 300mm, ISO 400, Flash did not fire
‘Shy Eye’ – Chobe NP – Noelle van Muiden of RvM Wildlife Photography – This little one was quite young, under two months, and would not venture too far from it’s mother’s leg. The light was not ideal so the conversion to Black and White works better for this image.
Nikon D80 with 70-300mm lens: 1/160 sec, f/5.6, 300mm, ISO 400