I Heart Indies

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Last Western Black Rhinoceros Tells All

So what's it like being extinct, everyone wants to know.

Actually it's not so bad.  Really.  Oh sure, I miss mating, browsing for food, and charging termite mounds, but non-existence isn't so bad, either.  Besides in a lot of ways, I guess we had it coming.

For example, in spite of being herbivorous, we were pretty aggressive as rhinos go.  You can ask anyone, "Name an aggressive rhino," and they'd come back with, "The Western Black Rhino."  Wouldn't have to think about it for a second.  If you're critically endangered in the first place, being aggressive doesn't pay off.  You need to be cuter.  Like penguins.  Of course, dodos were pretty non-aggressive and look what happened to them.  Maybe the trick is to look cute but be willing to kick serious butt if necessary.  For example, polar bears, fierce, yes, but way adorable to look at.  If anyone can hang in there, it'll be polar bears; they're too valuable to the Coca-Cola company to let go extinct.

And in retrospect, the whole horn thing was a big mistake.  Sure you could use it to charge termite mounds, but having something on your face that looks like an erect penis is just asking for it.  I can see that now.  I don't blame the poachers one bit for hunting us to get their hands on rhinoceros horn.  I nearly had a chance to mate myself - long story, I won't go into it - and if I had mated, I'm sure I'd have done whatever it took to get the chance of doing it again, even if it meant wiping out a whole other subspecies.  If I could give one piece of advice to horned animals, it would be to evolve flaccid horns.  No one's going to hunt an animal with a big droopy old horn hanging over his nose like a punctured balloon.

And besides, cheer up.  I'm just one subspecies.  There are plenty of other subspecies of black rhinos out there.  For example, there's the north-eastern black rhinos - oh wait, they're extinct too.  And the southern black rhinoceros, they're gone.  But I think there's still one chobe black rhinoceros down in Uganda.  So don't beat yourselves up about it.  Like you take White Rhinos.  At one time there were fewer than fifty of those, and now there are fourteen thousand.  Way to go, White Rhinos.

So chillax, it's not over yet.  Oh, wait.  It is for me.

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