maimed to survive the cruelty of man

As the sky changes from a pastel pink to blue-grey and then black he walks a familiar path.  Pausing every so often he glances around, takes a deep breath, lets his surroundings fill him with joy.  This is home.  This is peace.  This is life.  His life!

Of a sudden there is a stillness.  The sounds of night all but disappeared. Before he can process the change, a sharp prick penetrates his skin.  A cold sensation trickles through his veins.  His muscles become weak.  He shakes his head, confused.  He shakes it again, harder.  The motion moves his body, yet the awful feeling of impending doom stays.  Unable to control his legs he sags to the ground.

Through eyes inexplicably cloudy and heavy, his sluggish brain recognizes movement not too far away.  He opens his mouth to yell for help.  There is no sound.  Darkness transforms, shifting, changing into two, three, four shapes that move separately.  Shapes of two-legged creatures creeping up on him.  But something is wrong.  Something is different.  The arms.  On each shape one arm is longer, much longer than the other. They are talking.  What are they saying?  How come he can’t understand what is going on?

With a big heave he tries to pull himself up.  A weird sound drifts to his ears.  Then they are on top of him with their strangely long arms raised up in the air. A stray bit of moonlight illuminates their hands. Hands that are now long broad, nasty looking blades.  Something is very, very wrong and he tries to move.  HELP!  PLEASE, PLEASE HELP!  The cry is never voiced as they hack, and hack, and hack.  Blood runs into his eyes, his mouth.  It drips onto the dry ground, the earth he wandered with pride. He tries to get up, to get away.  Hack. It hurts. They laugh. Whack! WHY?! Hack! WHY?! Hack!  Excited voices trill on the air.  Pieces of him fall away, leaving gaping holes.  Why does he feel cold. . . and hot?  PAIN.  Terrible pain as the night air brushes gaping wounds, exposed muscle and nerve.

The night is still again.  They are gone.  He is alive.  Barely.  He is tired.  The pain is excruciating.  Why did they do it?  In his short life he could never imagine feeling this much pain. He wasn’t a threat to them.  He was living his life in peace.  He was planning on having a family,  planning on teaching his kids the wonders of this world.  As his blood slowly seeps into the earth, he remembers the river from which he drank but a few short hours ago.  He remembers the sweet taste of the grass he will never again enjoy.  He remembers sharing a happy moment with his future mate only this morning.  He remembers the look and smell of his friends as they roamed the land together – only this morning.

He lays down his proud head, now a mutilated and disfigured bloody mess – a pool of blood his pillow.  The scent is acrid, the feel of it cold.  It is the last thing he’ll remember of his life on earth.

A Rhino’s blood, senselessly spilled by creatures a person feels hard-pressed to call human as they are most definitely not humane in motivation and method.

giving up her horns, part of what makes her unique, might be the only thing that keeps this mama rhino alive to raise her babies

My thanks to Jackie who keeps on raising awareness on the poaching of Rhino horns in South Africa. Please take the time to read the post “Geza – the final hours” by Dr William Fowlds.  Be warned though, it is a heartbreaking story.


14 thoughts on “maimed to survive the cruelty of man

  1. Thank you for posting this Riekie – its really moving stuff. The more awareness we can bring about the more pressure will be placed on the people who are supposed to be doing something about this.

    • Thanks for reading it, Jackie.
      Animal cruelty is one of my biggest BPR’s. Unfortunately it’s also something most of us avoid thinking about too much.

      If this post helps to makes a difference I’ll be over the moon.

    • Thanks for reading, Lisa. I had a hard time writing this, but I was so overwhelmed after reading Dr Fowlds’ post that I had to give the turmoil inside me some voice.

  2. This was awful (though well-written), and sooo hard to read, Riekie, I was in absolute tears and feeling sick to my stomach.

    I agree with all the other comments. Hearing all these stories of rhino poaching (and of the heartless and cruel slaughter of elephants and whales and of so many other beautiful animals) is really upsetting, and it makes me completely despair for humanity, and our future on this planet.

    How can human beings do such things – and think that it is okay?

    I do not understand it.

    What can we do to stop such things happening, Riekie?

  3. Thank you for bringing awareness to this senseless act. Unfortunately, as long as there is a market and money to be made… there are no preventable solutions to stop poaching. 😦

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