Rare rhinos killed

BBC Wildlife
30 January 2008

Category: News


The rare Asian rhino, still alive, with its horn cut off

The rare Asian rhino, still alive, with its horn cut off

A rare Asian rhino (warning, graphic photo) that was being protected with the help of money raised through last year's BBC Saving Planet Earth series has had its horn cut off and its calf killed in a brutal attack just outside Kaziranga National Park in Assam state, India. Though the adult survived the initial attack, it died 35 hours later.

David Shepherd – whose David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation has been at the forefront of protecting these one-horned rhinos for the past decade – said he had 'seldom seen such a sickening example of wildlife abuse. Rhinos deserve a better fate than this.'

Indeed they do, though examples of cruelty to other wild animals on an almost daily basis are not hard find. The BBC online site has just posted a story about 53 Galapagos sealions – mammals that are as protected as the Indian rhinos – which were found with their heads caved in as a result of being hit by 'a strong blow' from person or persons unknown. There was no obvious motive to the killings.

Or take this. In summer 2007, investigators from the League Against Cruel Sports found five badger corpses – er, yet another protected species – on a shooting estate in southern England. Post mortem examination of one of the corpses indicated it had been caught in a snare and been strangled – in other words, it probably suffered a long and painful death. The league was upset that the landowner had admitted to the police that 'badgers do occasionally get trapped on the estate', and yet the decision had been taken to bring no charges against him or his gamekeepers.

The fact is many people get away with animal cruelty and abuse all the time. Perhaps another way of looking at it, and looking at it on a wider scale, is that every time we eat a battery farmed chicken or indulge in a morsel of farmed smoked salmon, we’re making a conspicuous statement that treating animals as if they don’t feel anything is absolutely fine.

Why should poorer people in other parts of the world – people in Assam or the Galapagos, for instance – be any different? What do you think?


Touched by this story? Find out more about BBC Saving Planet Earth, and discover what you can do to help.


31 January 2008, 1:36PM

I think that it is harsh for rare aninimals are getting killed so lets put a stop to it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xxx

vinoth kumar

1 February 2008, 10:15AM

How guys will keep track of this kind of rare animals. Definitely you would have missed lot of animals left unsaved what do you lilke to say for that?

vinoth kumar

1 February 2008, 10:17AM

How you guys will keep track of this kind of rare animals? Definitely you would have missed lot of animals left unsaved what do you like to say for that? I also like to be a photographer like you guys what are the things i must use and study to be a good photographer? email id: [email protected]

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