The Death of the Last Northern White Rhino: How Poaching has Impacted its Population Decline
By Charlie Glazier
On March 20, 2018, the last male Northern White rhino died in The Kenya Conservancy, where two females still remain. The male rhino had been living under armed guard, but had developed an infection on his back right leg.
His existence was the last hope for reproduction for future generations of the Northern White rhino species. Now, the rhinos face the decline to extinction.
In 2017, over one thousand rhinos faced a grueling death from being poached in South Africa. Poaching incidents have become an inclining problem. In 2007, there were only thirteen reported poaching incidents. Just a year later, it rose to a high of 1,215 reported incidents. Crisis levels continue to stay around the thousand statistic mark per year, but has drastically impacted the rhino population. Christine Daniel, a Junior at Glenelg High School, stated how amazed she was on the growing numbers of deaths and impact poachers have on the rhino population. Law enforcement has turned a blind eye to the cruel treatment of these animals and the domestic trade for horns that is occuring
Spreading awareness and intent to change the ways of poaching everywhere is the only way it will improve. Olivia Browne, a Junior at Glenelg High School, shares that she “...heard about the death of the rhino and wants to help to spread awareness of the anti-poaching message.” Mistreatment of these rhinos and many other animals is cruel and inhumane. Although things like specialized training for rangers, improved radio communications, the use of trained dogs to track suspected poachers over longer distances, and better coordination with law enforcement are being done to prevent poaching, it is still an on going concern. The death of this male rhino and the extinction of the species should be a major indicator that something must be done to end animal cruelty and protect the remaining wild life.
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