Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Opinion Letters

Stopping slaughter of rhinos in South Africa

South Africa is losing rhinos at a rate of three per day. Let me not sugar-coat it: slaughtered, mutilated, murdered.

So many wonderful organisations are doing amazing work to save these precious animals. I am not a scientist, veterinary surgeon or game ranger - I have no technical knowledge that can help these majestic creatures.

But what I do have is adoration for Africa and her wildlife. So, I am not appealing to the world from a scientific perspective, but an emotional one, because raw emotion is what the decimation of these animals brings out in me.

So, this is what I would like to accomplish (as has been suggested before by others, but which I fervently hope to bring to fruition now): that our government acknowledges our rhinos as citizens and thus accord them the same rights as we humans have.

If our rhinos are registered as sentient beings, every murder (and, hopefully, conviction of the perpetrator thereof) will be as severely punished as a human murder.

Please, Northern Ireland: bring your voices, as you have so many times for other important issues pertaining to our land, to this cause now. Please sign my petition (at https://www.change.org/p/ellen-fedele-make-south-african-rhinos-our-ou-s), email me letters at makerhinosourous@gmail.com, petition the SA government (email me for all the contact details), spread the petition on social media, share with friends and family from all over the world.

I have written to more than 25 countries' newspapers overseas (as well as dozens in my own country) to ask the same as I am asking of you.

If I get more than 100,000 signatures/letters, I am hoping the government in Tshwane (previously Pretoria) will accept them in person.

Just for clarification, the word 'ou' is an Afrikaans one which means 'guy' or 'friend', so besides the word rhyming with 'rhino', it is meant to show kinship with this creature.

If you have ever been a few metres away from this animal, as I have many times in our national parks, you cannot be left unmoved by his or her beauty and perfection.

ELLEN FEDELE

Cape Town, South Africa

Online Editors

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph