Thursday, June 10, 2010

Jabari the Rhino

It all began four summers ago, when I sat surfing the television for something to watch during the hot summer day. I stumbled across a program called Growing Up: Baby Rhino, and from that moment on, the Rhinoceros would be officially my favorite animal -- ever.

The program featured a few baby rhinos who were forced to be reared by care takers after their mothers were killed by poachers.

Despite it's large size, the rhino is one of the most threatened animals. The black rhino, one of the African species of rhinos, is the most endangered animal, with only about 4,200 surviving today.

Thus, from watching this show, I have grown attached to the rhino. I simply think they are beautiful and magnificent creatures. They are oddly affectionate and endearing. Such an underestimated animal, yet extremely remarkable. I mean -- just look at it!

Since getting the rhino tattooed upon my wrist, people have been asking me, "why the rhino?" Most people think it's sweet, which it seriously is. But, I am rarely able to provide them with an eloquent and valid response. I usual mumble, "because it is my favorite animal." Though that response is true, that is not entirely why I would brand it to my body forever.

The real reason, and this will sound cheesy I am sure, is because the rhino reminds me to stop thinking of just myself and to view the world with a broader spectrum. Sometimes, well often really, it is easy to stop thinking beyond humanity -- or rather beyond myself. But when I see a rhino, I remember. I remember that our planet is far more than humans and their iphones, it is a place of beauty. Even the rhino, which weighs over 4 tons, with rough skin, and horns on its head is worth regarding with wonder. They are part of God's creation. They are exquisite and remarkable.

The rhino on my wrist represents more than a display of my favorite animal, it represents the glory of this world that God has created, and when I look at my wrist, I don't just see my fav animal, but I see His wonder. Often I give into trifling worries that put a damper to my day, but this world is full of so much more than fretting over inconsequential things. It is full of the grace of God and the beauty He has given us.

Of course, one can only go so far as to talk about how worth saving the rhinos are. But to believe is not to do. Thus, last week, I decided to "adopt" a rhino. And last night, my "rhino" came in the mail. It was simply a small-one time donation towards the African Wildlife Foundation, but the gift I gave was not nearly as great as the gift I received.

Meet Jabari.

Jabari is a black rhinocerous bull, 20 years old, known for his colossal size and exceptional gentleness toward humans. After poachers slaughtered his mother so they could sell her horn on the black market, Jabari was rescued by rangers and taken to a rhino sanctuary. His human caretakers struggled to keep the orphan alive, naming him Jabari which is Swahili for “the brave one,” because of his stubborn stoicism and will to survive. Though bull rhinos are apt to charge other animals and people, too, Jabari seems fond of people and allows his anti-poaching guards to stay close—probably because of the care he has been given since he was rescued as an orphan. ( 
Of course, Jabari himself did not come to pay me a visit; however, my donation was accompanied with the beautiful rhino figurine (pictured above), a little plush rhino, and a certified certificate indicating my new "child." I was overjoyed.

So the plush rhino will go to Baby, the beaded rhino someplace where everyone can see, and the certificate above my college diploma. My small donation will go towards Jabari and other rhinos, to help provide a safe environment to secure a future for the rhino in this world.

1 comment:

  1. oh dear Lord in heaven, you are just the best. I love Jabari. And you.


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