Biologist, Conservationist, & Portlander. My passion lives in Africa.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Rest in Peace, Rhino Champion.

9:30 PM Posted by Tara Easter No comments

I am very lucky. With frequent reports of declining numbers of rhinos and elephants across Africa, falling as victims to poaching, I realize just how lucky I am. At Etosha National Park I got to see black and white rhinos and bull elephants and their calves interact together. 

Normally, I would never regard these magnificent giants as "cute", but there is nothing in this world more adorable than seeing an elephant calf playfully sneak up on a rhino calf at the waterhole, only to be spooked and flare his ears when the rhino turns around, and, to the elephants surprise, is not another elephant. 

Having experiences like these, I am all the more saddened to hear that Anna Merz, founder of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and champion of black rhino conservation, passed away at age 81 earlier this month. Stories like hers, ones where someone saw a problem and had the drive and courage to act on it,  ones where the more difficult path was chosen rather than the easy one, renew my ambitions when I'm feeling discouraged. 

I would write about how incredible this woman was, what she's done for rhinos, and how I look up to her, but I think this article in the NY Times covers it all. Check out her inspiring story here

Rest in peace Mrs. Merz. Thank you for everything you did for rhinos and for people like me, who will never forget the first time they saw one. 

To continue Anna's mission, you can help protect rhino's by donating to the Lewa Conservancy