The last male northern white rhino died today. Why I want you to become more greedy still, humanity

The last male northern white rhino died today. Why I want you to become more greedy still, humanity

If you haven't read the news today regarding a devastating loss for the wildlife of Africa, and a reflection of the terrible potential we've cultivated for the natural world as a whole, you'd be forgiven.

You see, the world is a huge place and sorely imperfect.

There's also plenty going on both around the planet and indeed in your own busy life. Why do we need to constantly be on the pulse of everything?

Why should any of it matter?

To catch you up, the rhino in my rather fetching title was named Sudan and was humanely put down today.

(image - pardon my terrible moustache, must have scared the poor rhino at Ol Pejeta more than I could know. Regardless, enjoying a bicycle safari - note the fencing encompasses the entire conservancy but also separates a pen for the rhinos)

This follows an arguably prolonged period of semi-captive encouragement to help recover the subspecies; I'm sure his enhanced age certainly played part in the difficult decision his minders had to make, as his quality of life rapidly descended in recent weeks.

The last two remaining northern white rhinos are both female and live one a piece at a zoo in the Czech Republic and at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, near to Mount Kenya.

With no more living males, the northern white rhinoceros is basically extinct.

This should make you feel something.

I'll not tell you what it should make you feel, but I can surely suggest a positive, enjoyable vector for you to channel those feelings and make a meaningful contribution to the planet.

Pointing fingers might feel good, but does it help?

It's too easy to place blame and then carry on with your life. I'm guilty of this too, but I'll not pontificate - I've heard it's bad for my glass house.

What I'm after is a practical solution, something that benefits everyone involved. To balance the cost of a given opportunity...

What I'm talking about is supporting a now-global community

At the risk of losing you with another cliché, what ever happened to the understanding that teaching someone to fish is better than just giving them fish?

Should we be happy with simply donating to a charitable cause?

Again, there's certainly a place for charity - it provides unreal support for an unreal number and variety of people, places, and important things / objects, rhinos fit in there somewhere!

But charity is often unsustainable

I can name a few social enterprises, these provide new opportunities while performing a valuable service - their revenues help to offset the costs associated with providing assistance to a specific sector or demographic.

I'm not suggesting you have to start one or even support one, you might not even wish to change your life all that much - but I can certainly offer my suggestion to help the global community grow and become more self-sustaining.

Why not spend your travel dollars in a place that needs the revenues?

You could invest in yourself by taking a trip.

You could further invest in a local community just by visiting.

You want to help keep more *insert creature* from going extinct? Go visit them!

Ol Pejeta is a wonderful place

You think of safari in Africa, well, there's a practical reality.

It's a big place and home to hundreds of millions of brilliant people, this space is shared with incredible creatures great and small - not all of them are on the well-trod travel map.

Why not invest your travel dollars in a trek up Mount Kenya, bypassing the busier paths of Mount Kilimanjaro?

Why not ease the burden on your wallet, look for up and coming destinations - or those on the path to revival, such as the Warm Heart of Africa, Malawi?

Why not include lesser known conservancies in your itinerary to get to know the people more or experience a more intimate setting?

I had the distinct pleasure of visiting Ol Pejeta a few times in 2013, during a deployment to Kenya while I was still in the Services.

It is an incredible place, with subtle luxury, and an almost unparalleled opportunity to view all manner of famed African wildlife - you can even stay at the tented camps of Sweet Waters and pretend you're a Victorian explorer if that's what thrills you, just make sure you get up early enough to enjoy a coffee at the watering hole.

I propose you become more greedy

In the end, what I'm proposing, what I'm pleading, is that you strive to become more greedy.

But to channel that greed into a healthy thirst for life, a never-ending consumption of happiness or for sharing experiences, instead of coveting objects better placed on the faces of our neighbours.

#Africa #safari #OlPejeta #northernwhiterhino #wildlife

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