Today, as a follow-up to our San Diego Zoo visit, we experienced the zoo's Safari Park. It focused primarily upon African wildlife. Among the animals we saw were many antelopes - gazelles, gerenuks, impalas, Nile lechwes, blesboks, wildebeests, and bongos, to name but a few - and several African elephants. There was at least one tiger, but we could not spot it (or them). We rode a tram through the African-based deserts and grasslands and saw Rothschild's giraffes and greater flamingos. About halfway through the tour, my heart was broken as I heard about the predicament of the Northern white rhinoceros. There are only eight of them left in captivity and they are believed to be extinct in the wild. Eight.
And this is not due to natural selection or drought: poachers are responsible. This makes me want to weep. Are there horns really that valuable? Rhinos are such beautiful animals in my opinion, and to harm one would be unthinkable. And to murder one simply for its horn! Such a waste, like cutting off the top fin of a blue shark and throwing the fish back.
I dearly hope this sort of tragedy does not happen again, but I doubt that that will be the case.