Friday, July 08, 2011

'Last Chance to See' star killed by poachers

Yesterday I was very sad to read Mark Carwardine and Stephen Fry's Tweets that Max, the friendly white rhino that featured on the 'Last Chance to See' TV episode, has been killed by poachers in Kenya for his horn. Here is Wanderlust's report.
Max was a television star on the BBC’s Last Chance to See programme, after Stephen Fry was tricked into believing the hand-reared animal was incredibly dangerous.
Mark tweeted, “Very sad news. Max – friendly white rhino in Last Chance to See – just killed by poachers. No rhino is safe.”

Stephen Fry then replied by tweeting, “The organised scale of rhino poaching awful. Grieving at terrible news of the slaughter of Max, whom @markcarwardine and I knew and loved.”
This news comes as a double blow because in June we also lost captive Northern White Rhino Nesari from the zoo in the Czech Republic. Scientific Amercican had a lengthy article on that equally sad news.
Nesari, a 39-year-old female who had been deemed too old and weak to return to Africa in 2009, has finally passed away of old age. As zoo spokeswoman Jana Myslive ková told the Czech newspaper, Mladá fronta Dnes, "At the time of the transport, veterinarians predicted she would live for no longer than six months. It was actually a miracle that she lived until this spring."

Her death leaves the world with just seven northern white rhinoceros and a ticking clock counting down toward the species's eventual extinction. Even if a calf or two are born in Kenya, it won't be enough to save these animals. This is undoubtedly a species that will disappear within our lifetimes.
With Nesari now gone as well, it appears we are down to a mere SEVEN Northern White Rhinos in the world. And counting.


D.B. Echo said...

Gareth - the linked Wanderlust post describes Max as a Southern White Rhino. The situation is still horrible, though, and I guess six vs. seven doesn't make that much difference.

Gareth said...

Thanks DB. Yes, brain fart there. I've adjusted the post accordingly.

Gareth said...

I remember the episode itself mentioning that fact too, but I guess it was too late on a Friday for my addled brain to make the distinction.