We know that there are many people that fight the scourge of rhino poaching on a daily basis but how often do we think of them as individuals. People with a story and a history that has driven them to be a part of this force, which aims to protect our rhino. Here is a story from a conservation hero who works to protect and conserve our natural world every day. Zama Ncube is the head rhino monitor on Somkhanda Game Reserve in South Africa and he also works in the surrounding communities, educating local schools and community leaders on the value of conservation. This is his story of how and why he fights for our wildlife heritage.
My story with rhinos is a very long one, when you listen to it you will understand why we need patience and love for them.
Rhinos have been on this earth for years and years before our previous generations, they lived and our ancestors let them be. As I work with rhinos, there is still a lot to learn about them and about nature itself. They are like flowers that bring attention to the whole world, and attract tourists to our country. The funds that come with the tourists help us to develop our country in different ways and develop the communities around those areas where rhinos are conserved.
My love for rhinos started while I was still young, listening to stories about them from my elders, I spent a lot of my time doing research on them to find out how they survive. Rhinos spend most of their day in the shade, they are innocent creatures. Poaching them is not a good thing, it puts their lives as well as the lives of us rhino monitors in danger. What is important to understand is that human life relies on nature to survive.
I encourage all people to work together in saving rhinos – we still have time and we can make a difference. One might say that saving rhinos benefits us as individuals but that is not true. Our main problem is as individuals thinking about the easiest way of enriching ourselves, while in reality it is destroying our future. To me it is more painful to see those creatures lying down dead, only for their horns. Can you imagine tons of animals lying down dead, killed just for a small part of their body – ‘the horn’?
It is a traumatic experience to see a poached rhino and it takes time for that image to vanish from our minds. It is better to help us rather than killing these innocent creatures. THEY DESERVE TO LIVE, LIKE WE DO.
This story is just a glimpse into the life of someone who has dedicated their time and energy to conservation. We are so fortunate to work with some of these individuals, one of them being our director Dr Simon Morgan, who wrote this moving poem.
Black & White –
Our Dark Africa.
Black & Snow Ivory horns,
Forest green scales & bright feathers.
A vivid world.
Sacrificed & stolen, sold & sent.
Now a Red Africa (???)
Burnt blood red
Spreading & stained.
A now vile world.
Black & White –
Our Africa no more.
Are these our true colours?
Can our colours mend
oh livid world?