90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Searching For The Black Rhino

Montana writer Rick Bass goes way into Africa on the trail of the 3000-pound black rhino.

A 4-year old Female black Rhino, runs after it was darted at Nairobi National Park, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2006. Kenyan wildlife officials began relocating 33 endangered rhinos to the Meru National Park to restock the animal. (AP)

A 4-year old Female black Rhino, runs after it was darted at Nairobi National Park, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2006. Kenyan wildlife officials began relocating 33 endangered rhinos to the Meru National Park to restock the animal. (AP)

Montana writer, nature writer, Rick Bass has brought us deep, beautiful stories of grizzly bear and high-country deer.  Wilderness and wolves.  Montana stars and sky and good dogs in pickup trucks.

Now he brings us a story out of Africa.  He’s a long way from his Montana mountains, in the fiery desert of Namibia, on the trail of the astounding black rhino.

Three thousand pounds of muscle and hide and horn.  Huge, and fast.  A time traveler from deep pre-history.  Deeply endangered in our time.  And saved, too.  For now.

This hour, On Point:  Rick Bass on the black rhino and us.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Rick Bass, environmental activist and award-winning chronicler of the American western wilderness. His latest book is “The Black Rhinos of Namibia: Searching for Survivors in the African Desert.”

Simson Uri-Khob, Director of Community Outreach, Training and Research at Save the Rhino Trust in Namibia.

From Tom’s Reading List:

Minneapolis Star Tribune “In “The Black Rhinos of Namibia,” environmental activist and prolific author Rick Bass travels to Namibia to spend time with conservation groups and learn about the endangered black rhino. Although he doesn’t indicate a prior specific fascination with rhinos, Bass quickly becomes utterly enchanted by them.”

Open Letters Monthly “The Black Rhinos of Namibia, in which veteran geologist and nature-writer Rick Bass goes to that south-western African nation in search of its small population of black rhinos, is a haunting book because Bass is a prose stylist of great power – but it’s also a haunted book, because despite the hard-bitten optimism of its author, his story cannot have a happy ending.”

ABC News “As a growing number of endangered African rhinos are poached for their horns, officials and activists are scrambling for ways to halt the slaughter. Suggestions have included pre-emptively cutting off or poisoning their horns, or even deregulating their trade. But nothing promises to quell the insatiable demand for their powder in Asia.”

Excerpt: “The Black Rhinos of Namibia: Searching for Survivors in the African Desert”

Use the navigation bar at the bottom of this frame to reformat the excerpt to best suit your reading experience.

Gallery

Click through the slideshow below to see some pictures of the black rhinoceros in Namibia and around the world.

photo
A charging Black rhinoceros in Namibia. (Mike Hern / Save The Rhino Trust - Namibia)Two black rhinos in Namibia. (Mike Hern / Save The Rhino Trust - Namibia)Director of Community Outreach, Training and Research at Save the Rhino Trust- Namibia Simson Uri-Khob checks on a darted (anaesthetised) black rhino in Namibia. (Dave Hamman Photography)Simson Uri-Khob with an anaesthetised rhino in Namibia. (Dave Hamman Photography)Simson Uri-Khob straddles an anaesthetised black rhino to cover its eyes. Rhinos can become blind because of the sharp sunlight if their eyes are not protected under anaesthetic. (Dave Hamman Photography)Simson Uri-Khob and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism staff help move a sedated black rhino. (Dave Hamman Photography)Water is poured onto a sedated black rhino to keep him cool in the Namibian heat. (Dave Hamman Photography)In this undated photo provided by Green Renaissance/World Wildlife Fund, a black rhino is transported by helicopter in South Africa. Nineteen of the critically endangered animals were moved from the Eastern Cape to a new location in Limpopo province. (AP)In this undated photo provided by Green Renaissance/World Wildlife Fund, a black rhino is lifted by helicopter in South Africa. (AP)In this undated photo provided by Green Renaissance/World Wildlife Fund, a team checks a black rhino after its transport by helicopter in South Africa. (AP)In this photo provided Jan. 25, 2011, by the Saint Louis Zoo, is a baby black rhinoceros calf with his mother, Kati Rain, at the Saint Louis Zoo in Saint Louis. The as yet unnamed male was born at the zoo on Jan. 14 and weighed 120 1/2 pounds. (AP)Miadi, an eastern black rhinoceros, stands next to the baby female rhino born to her at the Washington Park Zoo in Portland, Ore., Friday, Sept. 26, 1997. Miadi gave birth shortly after 1 a.m. Friday to the 70-pound calf, who will be named by the zoo staff. (AP)Kenya Wildlife Service officials display two black rhino horns which were part of a cargo that included 16 elephant tusks weighing 280 kg. which were impounded Tuesday July 14, 2009 in a cargo plane heading to Bangkok, Thailand when it stopped over at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the Kenyan capital city, Nairobi. (AP)Black rhino in the Berlin Zoo, Germany on Wednesday, March 30, 2005. (AP)A 4-year old Female black Rhino, runs after it was darted at Nairobi National Park, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2006. Kenyan wildlife officials began relocating 33 endangered rhinos to the Meru National Park to restock the animal. (AP)
Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 3, 2015
A group of community activists in San Francisco, CA celebrate that city's February 2014 embrace of the Fair Chance Campaign's efforts to alter background checks on employment and housing for convicted criminals. (Courtesy All of Us Or None)

Is it time to stop asking job applicants if they’ve been convicted of a crime? We’ll look at employment and unemployment after prison.

Mar 3, 2015
This July 21, 2014 photo shows strawberry banana chia breakfast smoothie in Concord, N.H. Breakfast habits in America are changing, leading to dramatic shifts in business strategy. (AP)

Food guidelines are changing. So is what we eat for breakfast. Cereal? Out of favor. Eggs? Maybe OK. And all kinds of new menus. We’ll look at Americans and breakfast.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 2, 2015
This image provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center shows an artists rendering on how a gamma ray burst occurs with a massive star collapsing and creating a black hole and beaming out focused and deadly light and radiation bursts. Astronomers and space telescopes in April 2013 saw the biggest and brightest cosmic explosion ever witnessed, a large gamma ray burst. (AP)

A super-massive black hole, newly discovered, deep in space. We’ll peer into the realm of the black hole.

 
Mar 2, 2015
In this Tuesday, March 4, 2014 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by his wife Sara, right, speaks before the screening of the television documentary "Israel: The Royal Tour" at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. (AP)

On the eve of Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu’s controversial address to Congress, we look at the US-Israel falling out over Iran nuclear negotiations.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Answers To Your Questions On Black Holes
Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015

Yale University’s Priyamvada Natarajan answers your black hole questions in full. (Well, most of them.)

More »
Comment
 
Want To Listen To Lead Belly? Here’s Where To Start
Monday, Mar 2, 2015

Loved our show on Lead Belly, but unsure on where you should start to listen? Jeff Place of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage offers his best picks for a beginning Lead Belly listener.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February 27, 2015
Friday, Feb 27, 2015

We won’t lead you into a debate on the color of #TheDress (it’s blue and black, end of debate), but we do wonder about the blurring lines between so-called Internet culture and general popular culture. Also, it’s snowing in Boston. Still.

More »
Comment