Monday, 22 September 2014

Stealing the horn off a living rhino.

So, it's National Rhino Day, eh?
Let me share this with you - it happened in the hectic days when we battled to restore sanity in the Maputo Zoo.
There was a single ancient rhino in a sunken enclosure, spending its days staring myopically at the concrete wall. That was simply what its life consisted of: no-one could tell us how long it had been in that tiny enclosure.

It was extremely docile and did not mind being touched. Some visitors took advantage of this, and when no-one was looking they would scrape shavings off its horn. They sure kept it short. We were never able to catch anyone in the act, and the guards simply didn't seem to care two hoots. They were probably the culprits.

It was so bad, some visitors even scratched graffiti into its skin. Look closely:

We are so inclined to ascribe human emotions to animals. It is my fervent hope that the word "dignity" is beyond the comprehension of rhinos. This poor animal had been stripped bare of anything remotely dignified by a bunch of savages.

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