Stumpy, my friend the Black Rhinoceros, was killed last night. Savagely massacred by poachers who gave her no chance. After having also injured her one and a half year old baby (who is now doing better), they cut off her horn which will likely be sent to China to be made into powder to be used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Stumpy was 41 years old and gave birth to eight babies during her life. She is the third rhinoceros to be killed in Lewa in the past year, the first in the entire history of the reserve. Proof that 2010 was a terrible year for rhinoceros in Africa. The numbers are unbelievable. The projection is that by the end of the year more than 300 rhinos will be killed in South Africa, practically one a day! Zimbabwe is also affected and Kenya has had around 20 cases.
Why? Because each gram of horn is more expensive than gold! Chinese demand is increasing and people continue to believe that rhinoceros horn can cure maladies like cancer, which is totally false. Lewa is going to further reinforce security in this “war of the rhinos,” and continue it's work with the local population.
It is also crucial to educate the population of China. In 5 or 10 years there will be even more people that have the financial means to purchase these products and the demand for rhinoceros horn and elephant tusks will increase. This is a problem that must be attacked from all sides. As long as the demand is high there will be poachers ready to make some “easy” money.
Today another Black Rhinoceros was born at Lewa, like a symbol of resilience of a fragile species whose future is in the hands of Man. In South Africa, many schools have already taken action to “say no to poaching.” The dream is to have the same type of program in Hong Kong and China. I can promise you that this dream will become a reality in the coming years, bird's word!
October 2012 - There was celebrating in Lewa, Kenya, one of the world's most important black rhinoceros and Grévy's zebra reserves. The EAFC Boopy Soccer Tournament was a fantastic success. This inaugural women's football tournament was a unique moment. A means of expression for the young players, it also brought attention to health and the environment. Between matches, the participants were able to explore the reserve with a mini bus system put at their disposition. It is always easier to protect what we know!
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is located at the foot of Mount Kenya in Africa. Through conservation and anti-poaching units, it has succeeded in developing one of the largest populations of white and black rhinos in Africa. Lewa supports five local schools and a medical clinic. The Conservancy is the main employer in this part of Kenya. The local population is fully involved and has benefited enormously through daily involvement in wildlife management and the development of tourism on their own ancestral lands, which surround the Conservancy.
Fewer than 2,000 black rhinos now exist compared to over 70,000 in the 1960s and 15,000 in the early 1970s. The population has been drastically reduced due to poaching for their horn, which is used in Chinese medicine and for making dagger handles in Yemen.
Boopy has already sponsored the full renovation of a classroom at Lewa Down School including the purchase of new desks, but the goal is to go much further than this. He sponsored the first girl’s football tournament in the area which was a huge success. More tournaments are now planned.