I remember seeing a Rhino for the first time, i felt my heart jump up and down because i had only seen them on television and thought to myself what majestic creatures. the first rhino I saw was a black rhino, i remember thinking to myself that they are called black and white rhinos because one is black and the other is white, but upon seeing the black rhino i saw that their skin was not black at all but a greyish colour and this confused me at first until one of the people who worked with rhinos finally explained to me that the only difference between the black and white rhino is not their skin colour but instead the shape of their lips.
the black rhino is a black rhino because it has a pointed upper lip and the white rhino has a squared lip,, this plays a major role with what they eat, the black rhino has a pointed lip because it is a browser, and the white rhino has a squared lip because it is a grazer, this really fascinated me and ever since that day when i see a rhino i look at the shape of their lips and determine whether the rhino is black or white.
seeing the black rhino made me feel so happy and excited, they are massive creatures and standing next to one made me feel so small but i did not mind because i was in the presence of one of the most amazing creatures that ever lived, everything about them i found to be amazing and this made my love for all flora and fauna even stronger and i knew that my destiny was in nature.
the first i heard that rhinos were being killed for their horns i was in high school and i remember in my classroom there was a local newspaper and i opened it to read because there was nothing else going on in class and i remember i turned the first page and that’s where i saw the most gruesome picture i have ever seen, it was of a rhino that had its horn cut out from it, seeing this made me mad, because this rhino was innocent and the poachers came and killed it for its horn, a horn that is made from keratin the same substance that makes our nails and hair, i felt sad for the poor rhino and thought to myself, if its keratin that they want why don’t they cut their own hair and their own nails, better than killing some innocent animal.
as the years went by i saw the numbers of rhino poaching increase and i felt fear in my heart because i did not want to live in a world where there are no rhinos, i could just imagine the chaos in the ecosystem because the food chain had been broken since a herbivore has been removed, i lost faith in humanity that year. but i still had faith in rhinos pulling through. I saw that some people were fighting to protect the rhinos and that gave me hope and fueled me to play my part, because even if one person cares that is enough to make a big change.
so play your part and protect our threatened, vulnerable and endangered species so that the children of tomorrow can experience their beauty.
TIP: when taking pictures of Rhinos in a game reserve turn location off when posting on social media so poachers wont know where the rhinos are.