I found a program that is looking to relocate Rhinos from Africa to Texas in order to protect them. Texas Rhinos seemed like a great idea, until I read a little deeper into what the organization stands for. With the inability to track exactly how my funds will be used in a larger company, I’ve determined the best approach is a smaller organization, and one more local so I am able to monitor more closely the impact and effectiveness of such donations. During looking around and monitoring the news it’s become more important lately to have facilities in the US to offer sanctuary to animals such as rhinos that may have been used in the circus or zoo but are no longer going to be used for them. Recently, some large name circuses have posted they are going to stop operations involving animals such as these.
While searching I came across a few articles on an organization that is looking to relocate Rhinos from Africa to Texas to protect them. The organization is called the Exotic Wildlife Association and their program is called the Second Ark Foundation: http://www.myewa.org/rhino-project.cfm
The idea is that since we can’t ensure the safety of the Rhinos in Africa, a relocation effort to the more endangered species from Africa to similar habitats in Texas would offer an opportunity for the Rhinos to be protected. In reading into the organization spearheading the effort I’m beginning to have doubts that this is organization to support. Their primary mission is to support and protect the rights of farmers who may own exotic animals whether indigenous or not. Part of that protection may include killing those animals if they own them and it’s within their right, whether for sport or food – it doesn’t go into much detail here. There is even a comment that it looks to promote this methodology through Commerce.
I understand that there may be benefits for the animals in offering them some new protections and opportunities but it makes me concerned that the organization involved is one that supports legal killing of exotic animals, and I would not want my money to support bringing Texas Rhinos, just so they can be hunted or harvested, regardless if they will be protected from poachers.
Texas Rhinos may seem like a great idea, but perhaps another organization should be spearheading this campaign, perhaps one that advocates for the animals, not the farmers. I can’t confidently pledge my support to this organization but there are many others out there so I will continue the search for the best organization protecting and helping Rhinos.