March 5, 2019 – 7:00 pmMeeting Location:Robert Livermore Community Center,
4444 East Avenue, Livermore CA 94550Some of the best bird and animal sightings from my 2015 trip to South Africa and Botswana will be shared. As amazing as Africa’s living zoo is, there is also a dark side to this country. In 2015, a new record was set for largest number of rhinos poached. This travesty is being fueled by demand for the keratinous material in the horn in the Asian market, based on the misguided belief that the horn has curative powers for everything from hangovers to impotency to cancer. Driven largely by China and Vietnam, the heaviest consumers, an ounce of rhino horn (essentially the same material as our fingernails) is considered more valuable than gold. A single rhino horn can go for a half-million dollars. There are now only two northern white rhinos left on the planet and just 5,000 of black rhino are left in the world today. I will present the myriad of solutions that are being considered to address the problem. If the current rate of poaching is not curtailed, wild rhinos could become extinct within the next few decades.