Thanks to recent attention by National Geographic, The World Wildlife Fund, and now, Animal Planet, the horrible and desperate plight of the rhino is becoming much more widely known. Animal planet’s newest mini series, Rhino Wars, highlights the efforts of an elite team of U.S. military specialists who have gone to South Africa to work with local authorities in the effort to reduce the illegal slaughter of rhinos. I was conflicted about watching it, because even the online trailer, which showed a baby rhino crying next to the body of his murdered mother, was enough to turn my stomach and break my heart. But I did watch, and I am glad I did. These four men are highly skilled and very dedicated to the effort, one of them at one point referring to it as a “calling.” I would not be surprised if this series comes out with more episodes in the future. People need to see the good things that are happening here even in the midst of cruel and vicious carnage. The dedication of the soldiers and the local authorities, the poachers who were stopped and apprehended, the adult and baby rhinos who have been saved from a brutal death – these realities give people hope and encouragement to continue this important fight. After seeing the trailer, I immediately went to the website of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and fostered a rhino orphan. I have been fostering an orphaned elephant for several months and knew this was one small way I could help. They are doing remarkable rescue work. The more attention we give this important cause, the closer the day when we can celebrate the safety of all the rhinos.

photo by Petr Kratochvil via publicdomainpictures.net

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