Thought for the week, April 13, 2018

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Two pieces of news have recently both saddened me and encouraged me.

I was saddened when I heard of the death of Sudan, the last male white rhino in existence.

Northern white rhinos used to roam east and central Africa in vast numbers, but conflict, poaching and habitat loss eliminated them.

Now this magnificent species is on the edge of extinction.

‘This is a creature that didn’t fail in evolution,’ said Thomas Hildebrandt, head of reproduction management at the Wildlife Research Centre in Berlin. ‘It’s in this situation because of us.’

What an indictment on humankind.

Human beings are supposed to be stewards of the earth and its inhabitants.

We are meant to nurture, care for and cherish the wonderful diversity of life on this planet.

Yet we have plundered, violated and abused that which we are supposed to preserve.

We all know the horrendous cruelty that is associated with the greed and the lust for the acquisition of ivory.

Elephants and rhinos are killed for their tusks and horns.

These sentient creatures are slaughtered because people think they have the right to rob them of what makes them who they are.

But I am encouraged that the British government has now imposed a total ban on the sale of ivory.

This brings hope and gives us even the slightest opportunity to save these magnificent creatures before it is too late.

Elephants are among the most sensitive of creatures.

They live in families which care for each other.

They have an ethical social structure from which we could learn much.

I pray that we will take the time to listen to these gentle giants before it is too late to redeem our own morality.