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  • Ok, there's the mother.

  • Now look at this

  • might pull the skin to the side there.

  • Yeah.

  • This is a loft of.

  • Right, shall we look for a place to land?

  • Today in Africa, a bitter war is being fought.

  • Both man and beast are dying...

  • and the enemies are greed, corruption, and ignorance.

  • The battle is being waged

  • over the black rhino, sought by

  • poachers for its valuable horn

  • In the past 15 years, over 95%

  • of the animals have been slaughtered.

  • Each day, Ranger Dolf Sasseen

  • patrols the Zambezi Valley,

  • But for this mother and calf, he was too late.

  • A lot of people would say,

  • "What does the rhino do to the bush?"

  • As a bushman you could turn around and say,

  • "The rhino has been created by God

  • as part of creation, we need it".

  • To look at it,

  • it's a beautiful animal

  • and we can live side by side.

  • You do not want to show to your children one day,

  • How an elephant or a rhino look in a storybook.

  • That's not what life is all about.

  • Life is not a storybook It is a reality.

  • For 45 million years, one of the planet's most

  • primitive mammals wandered the plains

  • and forests of the world with little to fear.

  • The rhino has few natural enemies,

  • but that role has now been filled by man.

  • More than 30 species of rhinocerous once existed.

  • Today, there are only five, all endangered.

  • In Asia, the Javan, Sumatran, and Indian rhinos

  • are down to critical levels.

  • In Africa, the white rhino is somewhat more stable.

  • Closely confined in a few well

  • guarded South African reserves

  • But the black rhino is hurting towards extinction.

  • Lf, as we say, in the early 70s,

  • there were 65,000 rhino on the continent,

  • We are down to 4,500 now.

  • That's an indictment upon

  • somebody or a group of people or nations.

  • It's come down throughout

  • Africa, this disease, this cancerous situation,

  • plundering our wildlife of Africa.

  • Through the years,

  • the black rhino had already been

  • depleted through much of its range.

  • It is the recent wave of slaughter, though, which has

  • devastated the animal.

  • Starting in the early 70s,

  • poachers swept through East Africa,

  • all but wiping out the populations of Kenya,

  • Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, and Mozambique.

  • Now, they have begun to threaten Zimbabwe.

  • In 1977,the situation took an

  • even more severe turn for the worse

  • in Kenya's Meru National Park.

  • In one three month period,

  • the toll on the rhinos reached 53

  • and rangers began to be attacked

  • and killed by armed Somali poachers.

  • Peter Jenkins was the park's warden during that time.

  • When I went to the Meru park we had a population

  • of black rhino between 200 and 250,

  • and then in the late 70s we

  • were hit by a different type of poacher,

  • this was the shifta poacher with his automatic.

  • And when I left Meru '81,

  • the population was down to about 25.

  • Today, it's three.

  • The beginning of the rhino's decline can

  • be traced back to the mid-nineteenth century.

  • Modern guns were introduced into Africa,

  • And killing became easy, efficient, and popular.

  • Some Europeans developed a taste for rhino meat...

  • others hunted for the sheer sport of it.

  • When a rhino charges a man that's nothing.

  • But when a man charges a rhino, that's new.

  • So here you see the tables reversed.

  • We are now in a with rhinos.

  • Osa dislikes rhinos more than any animal on earth.

  • For years they have been

  • chasing her and here was a chance

  • to give them a taste of their won medicine.

  • Mr. Rhino is public enemy number one in Africa.

  • He's afraid of nothing.

  • If your first shot doesn't stop him, good night.

  • It is not hunting, however,

  • that poses the great threat to the rhinocerous.

  • Instead, it is the demand for the horn

  • Ironically, the very feature

  • of the animal that evolved for its defense

  • may bring about its extinction

  • Though hard and strong like bone,

  • the horn is made of keratin,

  • like the human fingernal.

  • It grows throughout the rhinos

  • life at a rate of about three inches a year.

  • On a full grown adult, it may reach over four feet.

  • For thousands of years,

  • rhino horn powder has been a

  • treasured commodity in the far east.

  • Ancient oriental tradition

  • views it as an effective fever reducer

  • and an indispensable cure all.

  • The use of rhino horn as an aphrodisiac

  • has been greatly exaggerated,

  • and is found only in parts of western India.

  • As early as the sixteenth

  • century, rhino horn powder was recommended in a classic

  • encyclopedia of Chinese medicine, tidely consulted today.

  • The best horn is from a freshly killed male.

  • Black is better than white.

  • The tip has the most virtue.

  • Pregnant women should not take the powder or they will miscarry.

  • Modern medicine considers the claims highly unlikely,

  • and almost all far eastern

  • countries have officially

  • banned the importation of rhino horn.

  • Still, the local market flourishes.

  • In the back street of Taipei,

  • Bangkok, and other Asian cities,

  • African rhino horn retails for up to $7,000 per pound.

  • For the past decade the export

  • of rhino horn has been banned

  • in most African countries, but smuggling continues,

  • to the dismay of conservationists.

  • Back in the 1970s

  • when there was very little effort to control the trade,

  • the outlets were very diffuse indeed-going out on aircraft

  • or boats and perhaps over land as well.

  • But nowadays, I think that the

  • routes have become rather more confined

  • and most countries seem to point a finger at Burundi

  • as the major exit point in Africa for rhino horn.

  • So I believe a very large proportion

  • must be going out from this one country.

  • But we also know from

  • countries like Zimbabwe and Tanzania

  • that a certain amount of rhino

  • horn has gone out in diplomatic pouches.

  • It's almost certainly an international

  • illegal network, if you like, involving corrupt

  • government officials, corrupt businessmen,

  • and corrupt politicians, and it's this sort of

  • triangular Mafia-like alliance

  • which has made it so powerful.

  • It's not only affected rhinos,

  • it's also affected elephants

  • and ivory-the two are very closely linked.

  • Throughout history, the port of Mombasa,

  • many kinds of illegal trade.

  • Rhino horn, leopard skins, gold, ivory each dealer has

  • his specialty.

  • This pile of ivory, taken from 500 elephants,

  • was hidden in falsely labeled spice crates.

  • It was seized by Kenyan customs officials

  • while awaiting shipment to the Middle East.

  • The route is an old one, for thousands of year,

  • Arab dhows have sailed these waters,

  • sometimes with valuable contraband aboard.

  • In this way, the horn of countless slaughtered

  • rhino have made their way across the sea.

  • In recent years, the horn has

  • often ended its journey in North Yemen.

  • It is here that one more damaging twist to the

  • black rhino story has been added.

  • The oil boom of the early 70s

  • created lucrative work for migrant Yemeni

  • laborers in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.

  • For the first time, the workers