On one of Cape Town’s many spectacular beachfront walkways, you have to align the little bits of memory to remember what a rhino looks like. With more than 1000 of these animals poached in 2014 alone, it is a chilling reminder of how short sighted people can be. All too soon, these animals are soon to be extinct, with only a few stuffed specimens in the halls of museums to remind us of the greed of man…
Skip ahead ten years, and listen to the conversation between an old man (who can’t forget) and a very small boy (who’ll never remember)…
“You see, son, those animals were huge. They had funny faces, too – all wrinkled and strange. Small eyes – they couldn’t see very well.”
“And their bodies! Large and cumbersome, they seemed like tanks on the battlefield. Ah, yes, and they were indeed involved in a war. Only, they were outgunned…”
“Oh, and I adored their backsides! Somehow the small head and the sturdy bum made this animal look …handsome…if you don’t mind me saying so.”
“But, Grandpa, why did the people kill all of these wonderful creatures? Surely they didn’t deserve to be extinct now? After all, you told me they had survived for millions of years – floods, earthquakes, diseases…everything. And now…now they’re gone?”
“You’re right. They didn’t deserve what happened. But, to answer your questions, people shot these animals for a very small part of their bodies – the horn…”
The boy sighs. “I suppose I’ll never know what they really looked like. I do get an idea, though, from the bits you describe..”
“I’m glad. If you put the pieces together, you’ll get a good idea of the real thing.”
“No, son. You’ll have to try harder…”
“Okay,” the boy says, closing his eyes.
The old man smiles sadly. Yes, that’s about the best the boy can do. He’ll never see the real thing, though..
Artist: Andre Carl
View the 3D art on Sea Point Promenade, Cape Town.