This is an example of real quality investigative journalism, painstaking,thoughtful and with a level of understanding about the human subjects that adds real insight to this enormously emotional topic.
For those with an interest and passion in wildlife it is a brutal reminder of the challenges that we face in preserving our biodiversity in the face of increasing people, wealth and the ever present scourges of greed, corruption and violence. It is a also a damning indictment of the past and current political regimes in South Africa and their casual and cynical attitude towards the country's natural heritage.
It is great to see the tradition of quality SA investigative journalism lives on, one only wishes there were a few more nuggets of hope in Rademeyer's first class text.
Although I already knew something about rhino poaching having visited several game reserves in South Africa in recent years, this book really exposes the horror of the situation and gives an insight into how complex it really is. It shows that so many people are involved on so many levels that, even though there are others fighting hard against it, it would seem to be a very hard battle to win. The book is well-researched and covers many aspects of the problem over several decades, showing the chain of those involved, from the poachers themselves, through people with diplomatic immunity who can smuggle horn without question, to the end users and showing their total disregard for the welfare of the rhino. The same names appear time and time again and yet very little seems to happen to these people. It made me very sad but also very angry that so many people are willing to kill such a majestic creature for their own financial gain. This is a book that will appeal to anyone interested in wildlife conservation and will hopefully raise awareness of a problem that seems to be less publicised on a global scale than others. At the time of writing the numbers are up to more than 2 rhino killed every day in South Africa alone. All for profit.
This book is a thorough and devastating read into research about the illegal trafficking of rhino and its consequences. It's a hard-hitting, gritty book that will make you cry in places, but if we don't cry about this, then we're inhuman.
More than 1 rhino is killed in Africa every day. Rhinos are being butchered while they're was still alive, horns brutally hacked off and left to die painfully. And for what? Rhino horn is made of keratin, the same substance that's found in your hair and fingernails and has no proven scientific medical benefits. Every year, thousands of wild animals are killed because someone, somewhere wants a piece of them. We have the fur trade, Eastern medicine, hunting for fun or sport, deforestation and loss of habitat due to an increase in human population and wars, or we keep them as pets. We're either killing them for selfish gain or loving them to death.
Change has to start with awareness, prevention, conservation, and protection. In some countries even the politicians and diplomats admit to being an end user in the illegal wildlife trade, claiming that rhino horn, ivory, tiger bones, or other animal products cure everything from hangovers to cancer. This sends the price of these products sky high, and signs a death warrant for these animals. In some places, illegal animal products are worth more than gold and platinum. Until the leaders of these countries take a stand against this illegal trade, more and more of these amazing creatures will become extinct. The illegal trafficking in wild animals is now the third largest criminal industry in the world. For these animals to survive, we must make a change now. Not in two years, or one year, or even six months. The ugly truth is that some animals won't be around in six months from now. Extinction is forever - there's no going back. Unless something is done about this now, the only way your grandchildren will see these animals is in pictures because there will be no live ones left.
This book highlights this barbaric trade fuelled by greed. Together, we all have to try and raise awareness and make change.
This well-written book provides an excellent insight into what has become one of, if not, the most organized forms of wildlife crime in recent years. The less than happy ending reflects the fact that there seems no end in sight to this illegal trade. The author has, overall, an objective style that is often absent in books of this nature.
A meticulously researched exposé on the players behind the rhino horn trade. Reading like a real-life Stieg Larsson crime novel it makes essential reading for anyone with (or without) an interest in wildlife conservation, amateur or expert.