The eBook ” Moving Rhino ” features Mike Behr’s stories of relocating Rhino’s in the 70’s, bringing a personal element to the many attempts at Rhino conservation.
Rhinos are one of the most beloved yet endangered animals in the world. Once widespread throughout Asian and African continents, rhinos are now an extremely rare sight except in national parks and reserves. In addition to rapid habitat loss, poaching for the expensive rhino horns is another major threat to their survival. Under pressure from all these threats, rhino conservation becomes especially important.
Unlike the many articles or books about rhino conservation that are mostly fact-based, the e-book “Moving Rhino” shows the more personal side of wildlife conservation. In other words, “Moving Rhino” is a book that would touch readers’ hearts. This seems to be implicit in the very title of the e-book, since “moving” could not only mean the physical relocation of rhinos, but also a spiritual journey in which the human heart is moved by these incredible animals.
In “Moving Rhino”, Michael Behr shares his journey of relocating rhinos in the 1970’s as part of the conservation program “Operation Rhinos”. It includes stories of two separate trips, the first from South Africa to U.S.A and the second from South Africa to Botswana. The first journey is several weeks-long, a cross Atlantic voyage; while the second a grueling, sleep-deprived drive through scenic African countryside.
Through Mike’s incredibly detailed account, readers get glimpses into the ups and downs of traveling with rhinos in both journeys. Dealing with stress from caring for wounds, irritable rhinos, flying fish that jump aboard in magnificent sunset, and way-too-curious border control officials who scare the rhinos, are just some of the challenges and reeards of the precarious yet rewarding journey.
The first story ends with a heart-warming reunion between Mike Behr and two of the rhinos 18 months after their safe arrival in America. The rhinos run around and squeal with happiness when they see Behr, showing the strong bond between them, unbroken by separation.
The crush of rhinos in the second journey also seem to have had a happy ending, at least in the beginning. In the reserve in Chobe,Botswana their numbers steadily increased and in 1984, there were 190 rhinos in the reserve. However, their number plummeted after that and by 1992, there were only 27 rhinos left. The culprit behind the drastic decline, rampant poaching. As a conclusion to the ebook “Moving Rhino”, this fact highlights the threat poaching poses to the rhino species as well as the importance of conservation. The number of rhinos in the area has since bounced back to over 60 thanks to new conservation efforts.
“Moving Rhino” is a book that aims to capture the more personal essence of rhino conservation. As readers go on this cross-Atlantic journey with them, Rhinos no longer seem to be just an exotic, endangered species, but charismatic animals with their own personalities and souls. They seem deserving of every effort to save them, even just so they can continue to be an inspiration for future generations.
Contributed by Nikela Volunteer Sylvia Lin
Read these personal stories of Michael Behr in the e-book “Moving Rhino“.
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