Rhinos at Risk

Indian Rhino, Chitwan National Park

Check out this rhino I photographed during our walk in Chitwan. I was standing behind a tree clicking pictures when he noticed the clicking sound and turned right towards me! Great photo, but when he noticed me, he started grunting and snorting, so I had to slip away back into the bush.

Having seen a total of 12 rhinos in Chitwan, our previous postings may have left the impression that rhinos are a dime a dozen here. They aren’t! There is an all-out war going on between countries desperately trying to protect their rhinos and poachers who can sell the rhinos’ horns (primarily to the Chinese) for enormous sums of money. Nepal is no exception. Because this war has become so violent, Nepali troops have been positioned in Royal Chitwan National Park itself to help defend their wildlife. (Their tiger population is also threatened by poaching.)

Indian Rhino Mother with Calf, Chitwan National Park

It is no small miracle that Nepal, a developing country which actually borders China, has managed to keep rhinos alive in multiple parks. Unfortunately, the government’s ongoing fight with the Maoists puts the rhino population at risk. When the government had to withdraw troops from Chitwan to fight in other parts of the country, more than a hundred rhinos were killed. But tourism is helping to stop the slaughter. Visiting the park and viewing the rhinos can help fund the fight to protect them, so if you are in Nepal, save a rhino by seeing one.

4 responses to “Rhinos at Risk”

  1. avatar hint says:

    The first picture is not the most flattering (for the rhino), don’t you think?!
    But they are such amazing creatures and it is a shame that there remain so few of them!

  2. avatar evelyn says:

    The first picture is an absolutely spectacular portrait of a rhino, and you’ve captured those cute little birds on their back. Definitely National Geographic quality, Tony! I’m there with you in spirit. Glad the rhino didn’t trample you – what you’ll do for a great photo! Yea! Take care.

  3. avatar carol elices says:

    Was in San Diego last week for vacation & heard about “Thomas &
    Tony’s Big Adventure” thru Evelyn. Totally awesome, guys!!!
    You rock!!! Have the time of your lives. We’ll be thinking of you (&
    traveling vicariously!)

    Big hugs,

  4. avatar greeneyes says:

    Well, each time I hear of the poaching of any animal, I really get worked up.

    When will the world learn that these animal parts have no magic potion.

    Enough of the superstition.

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