It’s all a little mysterious. I have my fingers crossed that it’s not a big deal. If it is, well, I might even take a selfie with it. (laughs)
You made an effort to pay attention to the local traditions and the local culture of the African rhino. Is it surprising to you that rhino are now in such a rare habitat?
I think it is really amazing. I was really surprised by the fact that rhino and elephants have made this amazing transition from savannah to forest. It’s such a great time to work with rhino. My job is to help the rhino and the elephants understand the process of how the forest was regenerated, in the process of regrowing the trees that they were born in. It’s really important to show the rhino that they are a part of this forest, that they can’t turn on the tap and they have to understand and follow the rules.
Rhinos are often portrayed as fearless creatures. But as I was talking to the veterinarians, the thing they stressed the most was not fear, but respect.
No, I think people are more scared of an elephant than they are of rhino. But of course people love them because they are cool animals and we love them a lot for that reason.
Why do you think rhino poaching has become so prevalent in recent years?
I think more people get aware of the situation. One thing that they are missing is we have an elephant problem. We have rhinos, we have zebras, we have wolves. Why can’t we focus on the elephants? It’s because we have forgotten that elephants are a part of the ecosystem, of the environment and they are not just a threat, that’s a part of nature. But we have so many people trying to turn these animals into a commodity because that’s the only way to feed a lot of people for so many years.
They have the numbers and they have the fame, but they can’t help humans and that’s because we can’t change.
It is a really sad situation. We are using rhinos at their own peril because we need more rhinos. We cannot kill people. These people are being killed because they are not working the land and people cannot do a real job. We can make the habitat more beautiful for them and I think there are other things that we can do to help the rhinos.
Do you think it’s still possible
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