Mankind has a poor track record when it comes to the way we treat some of the other creatures with which we share the planet.
Sometimes, however, nature decides it has had enough, and it pushes back.
One rather graphic example of this was reported earlier this week.
A group of men apparently entered Kruger National Park in South Africa to poach some rhinos.
While they were there, one person in the group was killed by an elephant, that was perhaps defending its warrior unicorn cousins.
I’m not sure “warrior unicorn” is considered an official alternate name for rhinos, but it seems fitting in a way. Looking at them up close, they do seem to be wearing a heavy suit of armor.
After the elephant had put an end to the man’s poaching days, a local pride of lions finished the job by eating the man.
I find it hard to have a lot of sympathy for the guy. He entered a national park specifically to poach rhinos. There is nothing humane or sympathetic about the way this is done.
According to the New York Times, one method used to get the maximum profit is to drug the rhino and then “hack away at the face” of the animal with a machete to get the complete horn, which can be sold for $15,000 to $50,000 per kilogram (a kilogram is 2.205 pounds). The animals are then left to bleed to death.
In 2017 alone, 1,028 rhinos were killed illegally, according to the South African Department of Environmental Affairs, the New York Times reported.
Driving any animal toward extinction for no reason other than a quick profit is deplorable.
In this case, four of the dead man’s accomplices were arrested after admitting they had been in the park to poach rhinos.
The economics of poaching can be complicated, and stopping it is not easy.
Perhaps nature itself has offered the best incentive for putting and to this barbaric waste of animal life.
After all, the thought of being trampled by an elephant and eaten by lions seems unpleasant enough to make anyone even a poacher think twice before entering a park to destroy living creatures for profit.