Kifaru

Paul Jacko

It is not too difficult to shoot a rhinoceros (‘kifaru’ in Swahili). In the good old imperialist times the appropriate calibre would be .375 H&H, with a solid projectile. The shoulder shot is the best, though a confident hunter would fancy the neck shot. Some would prefer a heavier calibre, something like .458 Win. Mag or even .470 Nitro Express. The black rhino, Diceros bicornis, is a prehensile-lipped browser, and a white or wide-lipped rhino, Ceratotherium simum, is primarily a grazer. They have poor eyesight and rely on the sense of smell and hearing. Their IQ is on the par with an average greenie, are unable to adapt to the changing environment, (they charge before they think) and it is thus no wonder they became extinct in North America and Europe in the last ten thousand years. In the Republic of South Africa, during the apartheid, they were carefully nurtured for decades until the numbers became a nuisance. Beside the two African species, there are three in Asia, two of them (Sumatran and Javan) on their last legs.

The black rhino fillet is supposed to be exquisite, but most of the animals were and are not killed for food, but for the keratinous horns for its, in Asia, mystical healing properties. Apparently nobody ever believed in its aphrodisiac properties; perhaps another example of the bad PR. The Arabs, contrarians as always, used the horns as handles for their daggers, equipment designed not to heal anything except perhaps an injured pride of an illiterate desert goat herder. The pharmaceutical company Hoffman- La Roche and the Zoological Society of London found no medicinal value in agglutinated hair.

Today, in the colonialism free Africa the weapon (not necessarily of choice) is AK-47. The calibre is inadequate, but the ammunition is plentiful. So are the poor people willing to risk an encounter with a dull, but aggressive greenie, sorry, a rhinoceros. The weapon itself is practically a throw-away. The peace fostering communist block managed to export AK-47 to Africa in such numbers, that the total is estimated to equal 2.1 kalashikov per inhabitant. Admittedly, the recipients seemingly were never told how to clean those things.

Aphrodisiac or not, the trade in rhino horn was banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). That was in 1993. Predictably, today’s price e.g. in Hanoi is US$3,500 for 100 grams. The nouveau marxist riche of Asia can afford the price. The rhinos can’t. Poaching in Africa, and elsewhere has been a way of life, and before the Asian economic boom fuelled by incompetent Western governments destroying the manufacturing base of their countries, it was manageable. Some pressure used to be extended on the new ‘uhuru‘ dictatorships, and the embedded corruption was minimised. That was before the environmentalist movement was hijacked by clique with entirely different agenda. The wildlife has suffered ever since.

Fisi (yes, you guessed correctly, I did find my Urdu-Swahili dictionary – fisi = hyena) of the world media whilst not ignoring the problem entirely, try to bagatellise it because the culprits are criminals of the same political persuasion as their own puppet masters are. The above-mentioned Convention allows certain limited hunting, in my opinion, correctly. However, when one starts to regulate and restrict, it ought to be enforced strictly, without fear or favour so that after a while it can be seen whether the restrictions served any meaningful purpose. Again, in my humble opinion, feeling good about restricting somebody else is not a worthwhile purpose. (Oops, in one sentence I denied the Greens’ philosophy.) Surprisingly, a lot of Vietnamese apparatchiks suddenly developed an irresistible urge to be big game hunters. Hunters and exporters with diplomatic immunity, preferably.

The recent statistics of the decline of rhino population show an interesting pattern. Whilst I am not dismissing the genuine environmental factors, in particular the diminishing wild animal lebensraum thanks to the human population pressure, the maps showing their estimate numbers in various countries are enlightening. The more socialisms, the more regulation, the more ‘environmentalism’, the worse off the animals are. And the people, for that matter, too.

Kwisha.

(this means something like:- “and this is the end, folks” in Swahili)

About Paul Jacko

Jacko was born in Czechoslovakia not long before the communist putsch in February 1948. He studied industrial chemistry there and left in 1969 for Australia, where he became a lawyer and established his own practice. He has now retired and beside hunting, fishing, camping, prospecting and playing golf he amuses himself by writing.
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