The illegal hunting and mutilations of wild animals is a huge problem in some parts of the world, particularly in Kenya, where poachers make headlines for brutally slaughtering innocent animals — mainly elephants and rhinoceroses — for their tusks and horns, respectively.
However, in a rare reversal of roles, a rhino in Etosha National Park, Nairobi, fought back and injured one of the suspected poachers, effectively scaring away the rest of the group.
According to the Namibian newspaper, suspect Luteni Muharukua and other alleged poachers illegally entered the wildlife area in a bid to kill a rhinos for its horns. They were tracking the mammal when suddenly it “appeared from nowhere” and severely injured Muharukua’s leg.
His accomplices were able to flee with him and hid at a mountain in the park, but the law enforcement officials found and arrested them a day later. The injured poacher was taken to hospital, though he remained under police custody.
Each year, hundreds of rhinos are killed for their horns, which they sell for thousands of dollars on black market. Rhino horns are also used as symbols of wealth and status and used for traditional medicines, as it is believed the horns, which are made of the same substance as human fingernails, can cure several illnesses if ingested in powdered form. Although the latter has not been scientifically proven, poachers continue to kill the animals mercilessly, threatening the species with extinction.
In fact, authorities have already declared Sumatran and Javan rhinos critically endangered as they only number in dozens.
Thumbnail/Banner: Reuters, Mike Hutchings/File Photo