Lure of the Elephant Tusk, Rhino Horn

I have a healthy, increasingly justified suspicion of groups tagging themselves ”wildlife” or ”endangered” or “environmental”,  more often than not poisoning their own wells as they speedily morph into profiteers at the expense of genuine need and thoughtful human presence. This is painful to report. I really love elephants. And rhinos. And all creatures great and small.

90 Elephants have been found poisoned with cyanide in Zimbabwe Wildlife Park.

With stunningly cavalier disregard for every thirsty species in Zimbabwe the poachers heavily laced water holes and the salty edges with cyanide. All manner of life, including these 90 newly discovered murdered elephants are dead from the water and its surrounds. As are and will be birds, lions…you can imagine the aftermath……. 

“Park spokesperson Caroline Washaya-Moyo told NBC News that 87 corpses had been found so far, all with their tusks removed.     “Industrial cyanide used in gold mining was put in remote water holes and on salty ground that the elephants like to lick after drinking the water,” she said. “The poison was killing them and they were taking the tusks.” 

I wrote previously about the last Rhinos of an African preserve.

      The dreaded poachers of Africa continue apace with aspects of crime novels: murderous criminals of international networks, physicians gone mad, distributors into multimillion dollar markets ~~ all tainted with stunning cruelty. 

Disguised by sinister cleverness worthy paedophiles getting work in kindergartens, an outfit called    Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris   and making their money that way as well as setting up a Rhino “refuge”, is now charged as a major supplier of Rhino horns and Elephant tusks. They are being prosecuted, The Groenewald Gang. The head man is Dawin Groenewald, conspiring with wildlife veterinarians.

(From Rhino Conservation):  

The list of suspected syndicate members is comprised of people from inside South Africa’s wildlife conservation community, which sadly, included veterinarians:

  • Dawie Gorenewald – Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris
  • Sariette Groenewald – Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris
  • Tielman Erasmus – professional hunter
  • Dr. Karel Toet – Nylstroom animal clinic and Limpopo Wildlife
  • Marisa Toet – Nylstroom animal clinic and Limpopo Wildlife
  • Dr. Manie du Plessis – Nylstroom animal clinic
  • Marthinus Pronk
  • Dewald Gouws
  • Leon van der Merwe
  • Paul Matomela
  • Nordus Rossouw

Groenewald, proprietor of Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris, is said to be the gang’s “ringleader” – and September’s arrest was not his first brush with the law.  Groenewald’s bail was R1 million (USD $144, 471).

A site with far more information about these beautiful creatures and the bastards who hunt them for their tusks is called  SAVING RHINOS. I have no idea who the man is or the validity of his claims on that website, but it’s thorough, there’s a lot to read up on and I was touched by what I saw there. 

You can more readily find what you trust with some easy searching for Adopt An Elephant sites. I found a splendid group about five years ago and adopted an orphaned baby elephant for a year, was sent a certificate and photos of her progress and measurements of her girth. Barring that, we can all keep them in our prayers.

  1. (photo above from

8 thoughts on “Lure of the Elephant Tusk, Rhino Horn

  1. in that spirit of being part of the change you want to see, we support the Cape Leopard Trust. My husband volunteers, I write blog posts, and we have Adopted A Spot. We each light a candle in our corner.

    • Thanks so much, Diana. I’ll go to Cape Leopard Trust today, and also try and find the elephant people I was in touch with about five years ago, I liked what they were doing, too. My gallery is in a small group of old western shops called the Farm Center and I’m planning on setting up something for locals to easily join in directly for such organizations focused on elephants, and your group, maybe more. I love cheetahs, too. With enough of us locals, thinking big here, we might adopt herds and prides! I can only imagine the thrill with your proximity to these magnificent animals, and how it would even intensify your concern for their welfare. Thank you again. Seeing your name, and reading of Elephants Eye and False Bay is ever a source of delight.

  2. It makes me wonder if we as a human species deserve to live on this planet. Seems there are far too many bent on the destruction of everything beautiful and lovely.

    • I know one does despair, but there are all of us. And loving elephants and rhinos may be a good litmus test for friends and lovers. There really are more people trying to help these animals than the number against them, and I’m sure the good guys will win. We did find an alternate to whale oil, the protests on behalf of dolphins is working, change is possible.

  3. Oh, crap. I hate hearing things like this. I have such a soft spot for elephants. They are such sentient critters – along with dolphins and whales, and … Dogs, of corse. 😉

    bigsurkate, on a mountain top in Big Sur

    • It’s true, such extraordinary creatures I love them dearly. When I did an adopt an elephant a couple of years back it was really cheap, like $25 or $50 for a year’s worth of care. Big Sur could do that as a community and adopt a herd. You could call them the Elephants of Big Sur, how cool is that! Maybe I’ll do it for CV. Maybe we should do it for the Central Coast.

    • I know, it’s hard to bear dear Vera, I know. But skip to the last photograph which is really beautiful, and the last paragraph, which suggests adopting an elephant. Love to you, B.

Your opinions are welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s