Magnificent Monday: Nature Conservation

I was asked by Jim McIntosh from Holes in my Soles to participate in his Magnificent Monday event. This week the topic is about Nature Conservation which as a South African, is near and dear to my heart. If you are participating in the event, please leave your link in the comment section and I will pop in to have a look. 

Not recommended for sensitive viewers – explicit images!

Rhinos in South Africa and Nature conservation
A beautiful rhino in a National park in South Africa.

This is the story of ABSA.

ABSA was one of the first rhinos who were reintroduced to the Western Cape in over 250 years after being shot out by hunters. Last week ABSa and 2 other rhinos, including a female calf that he fathered were attacked by two groups of poachers.

Poachers were busy cutting off the horn of a rhino when they were disturbed in the Aguila Private Game Reserve in Worcester, South Africa. The rhino was ABSA. First they darted him and then they descended upon him like a group of vultures. The first horn had already been hacked off with a chain saw. He was still alive when he was found.

Rhinos in South Africa and Nature conservation
ABSA the rhino in the Aguila Private Game Reserve.He is still alive in this photo. Photo courtesy

Another 6- year-old male rhino was not so fortunate and both his horns were hacked off with a machete, a long knife. A female rhino, 4 years old, was darted but not de-horned. (The surviving rhino was one of the two fathered by Absa).

Rhinos in South Africa and Nature conservation
Medicated water is brought to a dying ABSA. Photo courtesy

Shocked? Sad? Outraged? Any normal person would be, but not a poacher. For him/her it is all about the money. He/She is a cold-blooded monster who would not give a dying and bleeding rhino another look. Or I guess any other animal for that matter, especially one where he/he could get monetary gain from.

Rhinos in South Africa and Nature conservation
The son of ABSA who didn[t make it. Photo courtesy of
One day – one dead rhino and another seriously injured.

But the story does not end here. Rescuers frantically tried to safe Absa who has suffered tremendous blood loss by now. When they examined him they found that the poachers were already half way through the second horn. He was found lying in a position that could cause massive organ and muscle damage.
Vets tried all night to safe Absa but he passed away.

This is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do …. I have just had confirmation from the vets in the field…. ABSA did not make it through the night…. he passed away early this morning… Rest in peace now my friend….. #aquilarhino – Facebook page

A nation mourned. Not just for Absa but for the 153 rhinos that were poached in the last year. People wore a black ribbon on 1 September in memory of our rhinos who have lost the fight against poachers.

Our nation are at war! Against the poachers but especially against countries like China who are selling rhino-horn products. People feel helpless. How do you help to save the rhinos and our wildlife. How do you contribute to nature conservation? Times are difficult and people don´t always have the money to contribute. How can one person make a difference?

Personally I believe we can all start to create the awareness. Shout it out to the world. RHINO POACHING IS A DISGRACE! Stumble this, Tweet it, Digg it…spread the word. Secondly our authorities need to take a stance against countries who are known for dealing in rhino-horn products.There will always be poachers if there is a market for these products.

ABSA a week ago I did not know your name…now I will never forget it! R.I.P. big fellow!

Rhinos in South Africa and Nature conservation
This is how I would like to see our rhinos for generations to come: Safe and protected!

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  1. How sad the way people so callously treat other sentient beings. I am not shocked though, because for many years now I've been involved in animal welfare, trying to educate others of the abuse that occurs in circuses that use animals as well as rodeos and other areas of the entertainment industry. It's so sad that many people turn a blind eye away from the abuse. Kudos to you and Jim for making people aware of such a sad and tragic reality.

  2. Very sad. It's disturbing in this day and age that we are still fighting to get rid of the poachers and those who buy from them. If nobody bought these products, there would be no poaching. Great post.

  3. Horrendously sad! People who harm innocent creatures sure do stir a righteous anger in me! Thanks for making us all aware of this travesty.

  4. Oh I felt very sad for ABSA and for the rest of the rhinos who have this struggle… but until people are raised to awareness that what they consume comes from these innocent creatures, then the market goes on and on. I could imagine the same thing happening to alligators, snakes and bears… which we use for bags, belts, furs and shoes…hmmm….

  5. Ditto to Jessica and Martha! That's great you're involved in animal welfare, Jessica! I clicked love it above meaning I love the exposure you gave to this crime, Nelieta! Thank you for that….I remember when they almost wiped out the elephant herd in Africa decades ago to get their tusks…you're from SA so you can remember that!On another topic, did you ever see the movie "Faith Like Potatoes"?! About South African Angus Buchan….what a great movie. Am friends with a lady on FB whose son is a missionary trained by Angus, an awesome man of God. I hear a lot of horror stories like the one you just showed here. Blessings my sisters!

  6. Glad to see this story given the publicity it deserves. Congratulations Nelieta, we need more bloggers to spread these stories and make Chinese learn that rhino horn for Chinese Traditional Medicine comes with the death of a beautiful animal.

  7. Jessica that is wonderful that you are involved with animal welfare. This is another topic that people like to avoid. We think about circuses as fun for children and entertaining but we hardly give a second thought to the poor animals. If they are well treated then it is a different story. But I suspect that most of them are not. Thank you for sharing with us and for spreading the word and creating the awareness.

  8. There are so many animals out there that are getting poached Melissa. Where do you start? I was reading yesterday about shark fin soup that is becoming a delicacy. Can you imagine how many sharks are being killed to fulfil the need for restaurants to sell shark fin soup? My goodness it has to stop somewhere!

  9. Thank you very much for your comment Bernie! Elephants are indeed another story and I remember it well. They are still getting poached but it seems that the rhinos are now under the gun. It must be getting more difficult to sell tusks. So sad! Oh yes I did watch the movie. In fact I have it and I asked my husband to watch it with me the other day. I found Russian subtitles for him so he can follow and understand. What an awesome man, Angus Buchan. I was given one of his books last year as a gift and I do treasure it. You know how many people he brought to faith? Would love to meet him. There are many horror stories out there that people don´t know about. Africa is not for the faint hearted I´m afraid. Blessings!!!

  10. Thank you for the visit Ladyexpat and for the Tweet! I do appreciate people spreading the word. Unfortunately the poachers are still amongst us. It is a war out there especially for people who own small private game reserves and who are trying to breed and reintroduce these beautiful animals into the wild.

  11. Thanks Jim it really does deserve the publicity. I agree with you, more Bloggers should write about this and make people aware of what is happening out there. We should all stand together and fight for the survival of our wildlife.

  12. I was thinking the same thing Jim. This is not a Magnificent Monday..this is a heartbreaking Monday. Well my friend, at least you know the name ABSA and what he stands for. Just for interest sake. ABSA is a bank in South Africa and they have named the rhino after the bank because they financed the rescue team who tried to save ABSA. Thank you for spreading the word and for creating the awareness.

  13. Damn this is a sad reading day!! First Jim and now yours. Thank You both for bringing this to our attention . Living here I had not heard of ABSA. This really impacted me. I stumbled, +, buzzed, tweeted

  14. my tummy is turning 🙁 I saw the warning but I wanted to go I did..I will never understand how people can hurt animals and each other the way they did and continue to do…I did not know Absa yesterday…but I do today..and will always remember…As always…XOXOXOOXO

  15. Oh god Nelieta! That was nothing shocking. Our rhinos here in Assam have the same fate. We have the one horned ones here. Just a few months back I had gone to this wild life sanctuary where they have only rhinos and they are so harmless. But I think people are becoming more aware and poaching is there but less rampant.

  16. It is true Bonnie. Why do people do that to each other and also to animals? I cannot even begin to understand their reasoning. I guess they are empty people inside without a soul or conscience. So sad indeed.

  17. That is wonderful to hear that rhinos are not under such a big threat than here in South Africa. I am curious to know what changed? Stricter laws or anti-poaching campaigns? It will be interesting to know how they managed to clamp down on the poachers. Thanks for commenting and the visit Rimly.

  18. It is true David. This is going to be a long and hard battle but I am sure eventually people will make a difference. I am only praying that it is not too late. I am so glad that you will remember the name Absa and what he stands for. Have a blessed day my friend!

  19. That's so horrible how a human being can do that to an innocent animal. Absa as all slaughtered rhinos deserve a better fate but mankind is too greedy and will do anything to make money. Viewing these pics cause me to lose hope but I know conservation groups and individuals are fighting hard to eradiate poaching but it's an uphill battle for sure. Hopefully one day humanity will wake up before it's too late. RIP Absa!!!

  20. Thank you so much for reading and commenting Larry! This is such an important topic and people often turn the blind eye. Please help to spread the word.

  21. Thank you very much for your visit and time to comment. You raise so many interesting and valid issues/questions. I have also wondered about the involvement of the game rangers. There must be some inside tips or otherwise how do they know when and where to strike. It seems like a lot of private game reserves are now under attack. Something will have to be done otherwise we will end up like China, without any rhinos.

  22. Anyone who can pay the price for a rhino's horn is an outright crimimal or has a seriose mental problem. With that kind of money to pay, it doesn't show much of an education! How anyone can verify its use for fertility has a very feeble excuse. The Chinese already have ginseng and other herbal remedies, plus there is enough viagra if it is needed. Also I thought they had a policy of having one child only? Why are they trying to sell for fertility in an already overcrowded world that cannot sustain itself anymore? This is just a lie for selfish gain. There are no rhino's in China and it is not a subject they have studied for over 5000 years, like green tea. Another question that keeps comming into my head is; how innocent are all the park rangers? Or are they making double profits? It all needs proper addressing.

Thank you for visiting. Have a fabulous day!

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