23 November, 2007

Black Rhinos Butchered in Zimbabawe

Even Black rhinos are not spared from the mess that has become of Zimbabwe! It has just been reported that three adult rhinos who were a part of a breeding programme in Zimbabwe, have been mercilessly killed. It becomes even more tragic and sad knowing that, the rhinos that were killed, one of which was pregnant, had been recently de-horned so as to avoid their being killed. But for no apparent reason, except - to destroy - the rhinos were butchered.

For a country that promised so much 27 years ago, what a mess: When Zimbabwe became an independent country in 1980, it was a focal point for international optimism about Africa's future. Today, Zimbabwe is a basket case of a country. Over the past decade, the refusal of President Robert Mugabe and his ruling party to tolerate challenges to their power has led them to systematically dismantle the most effective workings of Zimbabwe's economic and political systems, replacing these with structures of corruption, blatant patronage and repression. The resulting 80 percent unemployment rate, hyperinflation, and severe food, fuel and power shortages have created a national climate of desperation. Estimates suggest that roughly one-quarter of the entire population has fled the country.

Not even its wildlife is spared. For the black rhinos, a species which is listed as Critically Endangered by the World Conservation Union - this is very tragic. And for all animal lovers and those who care for the survival of our Planet, around the World - this is a very sad day. It will take another 20 years for the 4 remaining orphaned rhinos at the Imire Safari Ranch in Zimbabwe, to mature and breed again. What a long time to wait for such a critically endangered species to breed!

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