Soul Crushing

@whs_worldheritagespecies: Soul crushing image of a rhino fetus whose mother had been poached the evening before. Poachers, those who benefit from selling a rhino’s horn, those who believe the horn is a “miracle” drug, and the courts that let poachers walk free are cancers of the planet!😡😡 It’s not very often that I post a photo of myself, but I thought I would share my experience at a rhino poaching incident I was working at in South Africa this year. I’ve been working closely with wildlife vets, particularly for my rhino photojournalism story. A few weeks ago we were called to a rhino who had been killed by poachers during the night. The vets performed an autopsy on her to find the bullet; a vital piece of evidence in the investigation. In this case the cow was shot badly by the poachers, she was hit in the stomach causing her to die a slow and extremely painful death during night. I was taking photos and helping the vets where I could as they cut through her to search for the bullets when I overheard one of the vets mention that she was pregnant. I ran to the back of the rhino just as they were slicing open the amniotic sack, exposing this foetus, which was close to being born. Conservation, particularly of rhino, is something I’ve been involved in for a long time. I’ve been to poaching incidents before, I’ve seen some gruesome things, but this is something that will haunt me for a very long time. His fragile skin was soft to the touch, and tore easily with the most gentle of brushes. His feet were underdeveloped, his lifeless eyes glazed behind the thick eyelashes that had started to grow. There in the grass he lay, next to his mother, who must have died slowly, agonisingly, and full of fear in the dark night. His opportunity to live torn away at the pull of a trigger, and at the greed of mankind. I’ll be revealing some of my work from this incident over the next few weeks. Photo credit: @lisa_vet_graham IG My Instagram: @benswildlife

Comments

  1. So tragic. Even more tragic to know this is so common and that life means so little in our world

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so heart-breaking…. we should not be ever see anything like this! What has the world come to?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. No words.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear GOD!…..
    I have nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Crying…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I cant hit the ‘like’ button when my heart is breaking

    Liked by 1 person

  7. so utterly sad

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I hit ‘like’ to thank you for caring.
    As the world gets smaller, you think these things would stop happening.
    So utterly sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is the kind of story that makes me weary, but yes, it’s good to know there are some very dedicated people standing in the breach.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. why can’t people change the poachers should once feel the same as what they did to the baby rhino

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Valerie Meluskey says:

    so sad…and what rises is this young man’s love and tenderness…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sad story and still some peoples who believe that parts of animal have effects on their well being or simply for money gains are supporting poachers with of course some officials not looking too hard in their way, must be difficult for organizations trying to protect wildlife to have to deal with cupidity and superstition.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is cruel and it grieves me.

    Liked by 1 person

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