The Crash of the Rhinos

The Crash of the Rhinos

A group of rhino is called a “Crash”. But this title is about more than that. Rhino numbers are crashing. And crashing terribly fast. Rhino poaching is on a seemingly unstoppable rise on the back of increased demand for their horns in the East (China, Vietnam, etc), where it’s (falsely) believed to have medicinal and healing properties.

rhino crash 1 BW 2012

Rhinos poached in South Africa by year:

2010: 333
2011: 448
2012: 668
2013: 1004
2014: more than 80 to date…

At the current rate of increase, the death rate will probably overtake the rate of new births sometime during the next year or two, with extinction becoming a reality not long after that.
What can we do to help? Besides funding conservation and anti-poaching efforts, not much. You can do a small part to spread word through social media and help educate end-users that their purchase of rhino horn powder or carvings fuels the death of the species.

First off – sign THIS PETITION. Done? Good, thanks.

The African Wildlife Foundation recently released a new ad campaign featuring Jackie Chan, in both English and Mandarin. Share these videos around on your social networks:



Other useful links:

If you want to contribute R250 (ZAR) to anti-poaching efforts in the South African National Parks, you can buy a raffle ticket from the Table Mountain Honorary Rangers. They are auctioning an A1 print of a rhino photo I donated. Up to now the amount gathered from this auction exceeds R23,000 (about $2200), and there are still 8 weeks or so to go. Contact Diane Brooks ([email protected]) or Michael McSweeney ([email protected]) for more info and payment details.


I for one hope that my children’s children can one day still see rhinos living free in the wild places of Africa. It may be far-fetched, but without a glimmer of hope, where would we find strength to fight this evil scourge??

Morkel Erasmus


Morkel Erasmus

I used to relish writing these kinds of “bio” pieces and would flaunt the odd impressive word and use dashing grammar to make it sound like I am a boundary-shifting photographer. These days I prefer stating it in much simpler ways, much more relatable ways, much more believable ways… The fact of the matter is this: I love Africa. I love its people, its wild places and its wildlife. I love being immersed in these places, observing and photographing the fall of light on the land and the daily lives of the creatures that call it home, and presenting the results to whoever will take a look. To me, nature photography is all about being in the moment, and capturing that moment in a way that can relate to someone who didn’t have the privilege of being there with me. Sometimes I am able to capture a unique vision of the scene before me, and sometimes I just capture it the way most folks would according to classical photographic guidelines. Yet I always enjoy sharing the images and experiences and imparting the knowledge I have, both in-the-field and later online or in presentations, workshops and courses. I also just simply enjoy capturing and sharing the beauty of God's creation! The greatest thing I’ve found about wildlife and nature photography in Southern Africa is the unity and familiarity of the community of people that share this passion. We come from all walks of life and all cultures and backgrounds, yet our passion for our natural heritage and our dream to see it preserved for future generations binds strangers together and fuels conversations around campfires long after other people have run out of conversation and energy. Join me on a WildEye adventure to experience this sharing community spirit and learn to anticipate that fleeting moment and be ready for it, learn to immerse yourself in the experience without losing focus of your photographic goals…and above all, learn to see Africa anew… because there are none as blind as those who look but do not see!

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Morkel Erasmus

Since picking up a DSLR camera for the first time, a little over 3 years ago, Morkel has been invigorated with an unbridled passion for the photographic art form. He has grown at a tremendous pace and put immense energy into the creation of his images. He absolutely loves spending time in the wild places of his native Southern Africa. From a young age he has been visiting legendary wildlife and outdoor locations, including the Kruger Park National Park and the Drakensberg Mountains, with his family. Now that he has found a way to share the natural beauty of his homeland with the rest of the world he is regularly out on photography trips. An Industrial Engineer by profession, and an accomplished artist in genres like music and poetry, Morkel has always enjoyed whatever allows him to express his creativity to the fullest. Photography turned out to be the perfect "marriage" between his engineering brain and artistic soul. "I hope that in some way I can raise awareness through my imagery of the plight of not only our wildlife but also the fragility of the last remaining wilderness areas that they call home.” Morkel was recently honoured for his commitment to his craft by receiving a "Highly Commended" for one of his images in the 2010 BBC Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. He is based in Mpumalanga, South Africa and even though he prefers going on safari with his family and friends, Morkel also leads the odd photographic safari and has recently begun presenting workshops in post-processing techniques.

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