Australia as a Safe Haven for Endangered Species

25th May – ‘The Australian Rhino Project’ Day

The other day (25th May) Dani’ school celebrated The Australian Rhino Project as well as raising funds. But what will those funds be spent on? Who gets the money?

Not long after I posted the article about Taronga zoo near Dubbo (back in December). If you missed that post you can read it here. Pay particular attention to what I wrote in the final paragraph. I still think that is a good idea. Read on… 

Extinct in the Wild – The Story of a Rhino Named Sudan

A few months ago Google used their doodle thing (that comes up on their home page on certain dates etc…) to show us all about a northern white rhino named ‘Sudan’. Apparently there are northern and southern sub-species of the white rhino (news to me but then I am no expert in rhino species – however for my true expertise see below).

It seems that Sudan was the name of the last male northern white rhino. He died two years ago of old age. At that time it left only two of that type of rhino left alive on the planet. Both females and both living under constant armed guard due to the threat from (local) poachers. Armed guard for f**k sake!  It’s truly pathetic.

Here’s what I do know…

What I am an expert in, is knowing full well that there is no way the Africans can protect these animals. Not a chance. The only chance these creatures have of avoiding extinction is to move them to a place where there is sufficient land for them to roam in the wild and hopefully increase their numbers. A land where such space could easily be procured as there is so much of it. A land where these animals can be safe without the need for a 24-hour armed guard. A land down-under actually! That’s right. Australia.

Giving money to charities and foundations that are supposedly trying to protect them – in Arica – is like pouring petrol on a fire. 

The Australian Rhino Project

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying the cause is not a noble one. I do appreciate that they are at least trying to do something. But let’s be realistic. Their website says that their “mission” is as follows:

The Australian Rhino Project is a conservation organisation which is committed to working as part of the collective international fight to protect African rhinoceros from extinction. Together with our conservation partners, we aim to maintain a genetically diverse breeding crash of rhinos in Australasia that can act as an insurance population should the rhino become extinct in its African homeland.”

OK. Let’s be honest. This is a case of when not if the rhino becomes extinct in Africa. (Or as they say; “should the rhino become extinct in Africa”.) They go on to say:

Since the start of the project, the poaching epidemic has only increased in South Africa and the future of the rhino species continues to become more precarious.”

Yeah! No shit Sherlock! Does anyone think the poaching epidemic in Africa will subside? Ever? Of course not. But just keeping a few more rhinos in captivity (albeit in a spacious zoo) is not the answer. The answer, the only answer, is to make vast open space available for them in a safe country.

Here’s What We Can ALL Do…

I would urge anyone who is concerned about the future of endangered animals not to give money to the usual charities that claim to help them. Instead lobby those organisations suggesting to them that the only way to save those animals is to make a space for them in a safe country like Australia. Start your own online group to argue the case. Start your own charity even, to raise money to buy the land. But please don’t waste your money on round-the-clock armed guards. That is so obviously NOT the answer and never will be. At very best that method is only prolonging the inevitable. 

Contact your nearest zoo or endangered species charity to specifically ask why they are not shouting for that type of conservation policy. Get their angle on it and dig deep with probing questions. Africa cannot protect these animals. It’s that simple. Contact your local politicians too. They should be able to raise the matter at the highest level.

Pretending that African countries can do it is total bullshit. It is patronising in the extreme and let’s be honest; racist.

A country like Australia however can do something. Just look at how well non-indigenous animals have done in Australia, such as camels, goats and buffalo. Land issues are a big deal in Australia for sure, but this is different as it is not about humans. Surely Aboriginal Australians will appreciate the greater good in helping endangered species from another continent?  

And a new charity name?

Actually without realising it I have a created a new charity name. The title of this post no less. “Australia as a Safe Haven for Endangered Species” – ASHES. Maybe that sounds a bit too much like a cricket match but certainly catchy eh? But it is definitely apt, because if nothing is done, the rhinos will indeed be ashes. 

I will be forwarding this post to the Australian Rhino Project. If they respond I will make another post about it. But don’t hold your breath. I have met similar animal charities face to face in the past and believe me the results were not pretty. 

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