In Everybody’s Spotlight

In Heavens Spotlight

In Heavens Spotlight

A friend and I were photographing Hippos at a water hole, all the while this scene was unfolding behind us. We took little notice. Only when we saw the female rhino and her calf heading towards the horizon did we realize we were being presented with a rare opportunity. A wild scramble ensured as we desperately raced to reposition ourselves. The light could change at any moment, we cursed ourselves, we cursed each other, we made promises, we would be nicer to tele-marketers, anything, just let the light hold. By the time we had found our spot the calf had disappeared beyond the horizon, only mum remained, but the light had gotten more glorious. A few moments later the sun hid itself and it was all over.

The more time I spend with this image, the more pertinent the absence of the calf. With Rhinos’ tenuous existence being such a hot and emotional issue at the moment, I feel this picture portrays the fragility more evocatively. So, what is to be done to save this regal beast? Huge anti-poaching efforts are being made to ensure the species survival, while poaching tactics become more violent and more elaborate. It’s a war and we are losing it. Like any modern conflict violence will not win this one, as long as a demand remains, supply efforts will continue. We need to educate, and while we may never change the minds of the misguided impotents and charm collectors, we may be able to get to their children. They are the future.