Friday, 30 August 2013

The zoo and rhinos

Now, I'm not sure about anyone else, but I'm a massive child at heart. And so when my parents said they wanted to take me, my eighteen year old sister and fifteen year old brother to the zoo, it's safe to say we jumped at the opportunity. And so yesterday we made the trip to the Cotswold Wildlife Park, somewhere we visited when we were very young children and loved to pieces. It's not a massively long drive from where we live, and so it was easy to make a day of.

We saw all of the animals and had a picnic lunch in the sunshine. The sun was in and out throughout the day, but being in England, what's anyone really to expect?!

I, personally, am a huge rhino fan, and they are definitely my favourite animal. They're beautiful and usually very calm; so when people assume that they're big and mean and dangerous I can't help but be rather annoyed and feel like they're being completely misunderstood.

Cotswold Wildlife Park has four white rhinos, called Monty, Nancy, Ruby, and a two-month-old calf called Astrid. She is the first rhino to have ever been born at the park. In terms of breeding, it's wonderful progress for the white rhino, especially in zoos, but the fact that it's having to be done in captivity is quite sad, what with knowing that there's very, very little chance the animals could ever be returned to the wild.

A major thing about rhinos is that they are seriously endangered. There are now only around 29,000 rhinos left in the wild in the WHOLE world. This is largely due to unnecessary poaching for their horns. This is very upsetting, as only about a hundred years ago there were 500,000. That decrease over only a hundred years is ridiculous and unacceptable. Rhino horns are considered very important in China, as they are used for traditional Chinese medicine. However, is has been proved that the horns have NO noticeable impact to the medicine, thus creating a placebo effect where those taking it only think that it's making them better. So not only is the poaching utterly shocking, but there are also no benefits whatsoever from killing the rhinos for their horns. Is this not completely morally and generally wrong?! I think it's shocking and seriously needs to have a stop put to it.

This is something that I find truly heartbreaking. Human beings seem to think that just because they're supposedly the superior species, they can do what they like to all others. Clearly our brains don't work half as well as they're meant to if some people think that killing animals without seriously good reasoning could ever be right.

I'll leave you with a couple of my favourite photos I took of the rhinos at the park. Until next time.

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