Coldplay has already partnered with the likes of Eminem and Beyonce on the reworking of songs by African musicians for Artists Project Earth (APE). APE funds reforestation and wetland conservation projects, aiming to raise the global awareness of climate change. Mumford & Sons, Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M., Cee Lo Green and Bruno Mars have all contributed. Music and celebrity are powerful agents for change and right now we need billions of people around the world to care more about losing the last rhinoceros and elephants in Africa. We all need to realize this one inalienable truth: There are enough of us now to destroy the world as we know it! We need to collectively decide what kind of future we want for our children and grand-children and act accordingly. I hope that the millions of fans of global rock bands like Coldplay are moved to action by videos like this of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to save wild rhinos in Africa… Coldplay have stepped up in support. Now it is your chance, your chance to influence people around you by sharing this video and telling your friends that 160 rhinos have already been killed in South Africa since 1 January…
1%4Wildlife, a small South Africa-based conservation NGO, exists to provide a platform whereby financial assistance can be translated into tangible wildlife conservation outcomes like this rhino capture. On 16 November 2012, 1%4Wildlife sponsored a team consisting of ecologists, veterinarians, a helicopter pilot, and game rangers in the capture and immobilization of three white rhinos. This capture forms part of an anti-poaching initiative focussed on individual identification (i.e. unique ear notches), micro-chipping of the horn and hump (for identification), and taking blood samples (for DNA sequencing). DNA samples are crucial in the establishment of a DNA database for all rhinos in South Africa. Past DNA samples were actually matched to severed horns in Asia, resulting in successful prosecutions in those specific cases. The extraordinary lengths we need to go through to sample just one rhino requires significant resources, expertise and funding. Rhino research and conservation is very expensive and will always be limited by available funding. Rhino poachers and horn traders in the Far East, on the other hand, earn hundreds of thousands of dollars per kg and demand for this “drink of millionaires”, cure for cancer, and powerful aphrodisiac is booming. To save rhinos in Africa we are going to need to match the illegal rhino horn industry dollar-for-dollar. Every cent from sold rhino horn and ivory needs to be matched by government, corporate and private sponsorships and donations. If anti-poaching has less funding, personell and resources then the poachers will get there first and be gone by the time game scouts get there! We are losing what has turned into all-out war against rhino poaching. Organizations like 1%4Wildlife across Africa are gearing up to micro-chip and DNA database all rhinos, while training and equipping private anti-poaching and game farm security units. We need to do everything we can to support them in their work to halt the decline of Africa’s rhino after we saved them from extinction due to the same threat just 30 years ago!
2013 is touted by all as a “make-or-break” year for wild rhinos. The official number of rhino poached for their horns in 2012 was 668, up from 448 in 2011. More poachers and anti-poaching guards were killed last year. This “conflict” is fueled by greed and the desire to enjoy the “drink of millionaires”. Under-funded conservationists are chasing helicopters on foot and listening helplessly at night while dangerous poaching operations continue. There are private security forces on some game farms now and unmanned surveillance drones have been deployed to better protect the last white and black rhino. Most reserves, national parks, game farms, and community-owned lands with rhinos on them do not have the funds to adequately protect and manage local rhino populations. A significant portion of the wild rhino population is privately-owned and represent an important investment. Today, rhinos cannot easily be sold and private collections are dwindling. We are reaching a tipping point after which we will have to retreat to core protected areas in Africa and around the world to conserve what we have left…
1%4 Wildlife raised the funds for the rhino capture in September last year and produced a short video on the event. They then approached the hugely popular UK band Coldplay for permission to use one of their tracks on the video clip and the band agreed! The song, “Til Kingdom Come”, sings of feeling like we are out of control and don’t know where we are going or where we came from. This surge in rhino poaching has us stunned and confused, and we need to snap out of it and do something… Here is an excerpt from the song:
The wheels just keep on turning,
The drummer begins to drum,
I don’t know which way I’m going,
I don’t know which way I’ve come.
1%4 Wildlife are hugely thankful to Coldplay who recognize the significance of raising awareness around rhino conservation and anti-poaching initiatives. It is hoped that this short video goes viral and helps change the world for the better. If we all gave 1% of our collective time, money or attention to the preservation of our planet’s last wild places, we might as well give up now and reserve ourselves to a less diverse, less wild future without wilderness and the great wild animals that have taken our breath away for millennia….
Please help by donating towards rhino conservation here!
Follow 1%4Wildlife and their progress here…