Charlize Theron has teamed up with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) in an attempt to save an endangered black rhino from being shot to death in a “canned” hunt on a ranch outside Johannesburg. Baixinha, whose name means “pretty one,” is being sold as a living target to a “big-game” hunter, who will shoot the tame rhino where she stands.
The man who can stop the killing is David Laylin, president of Speedtech Instruments in Great Falls, Va. (USA), who decided to sell the chance to kill the rhino and mount her head on a wall after his attempts to breed her with an aging bull at her South African home failed. The film star has penned a heartfelt letter on PETA’s behalf to Laylin, urging him to reconsider selling Baixinha, who is tame and fond of humans, and has offered to meet him in South Africa and help release the animal to a sanctuary instead.
“This lovely girl, whose name, as you know, means ‘pretty one,’ must hold at least a tiny place in your heart, if not for her tameness and fondness for humans, then simply as a magnificent animal … ” says Theron.
“Please restore the faith of millions of people who are outraged by Baixinha’s reported death sentence. What is headed to become a public relations nightmare for you, South Africa, and the big-game hunting community can still be turned around.”
Canned hunting is a cruel “blood sport” in which hunters shoot – sometimes at point-blank range – penned deer, sheep, bears, tigers, pheasants, and other animals who are released into controlled areas. Many of these animals, such as zoo or circus animals who have outlived their ‘usefulness,’ were hand-reared and are so tame and so trusting of humans that they do not even try to run away.
Dear Mr. Laylin,
On behalf of the 700,000 members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and millions of other good people worldwide, I beg you not to sell Baixinha, the endangered black rhino you are holding in South Africa so that she can be shot and her head mounted as a trophy.
Please allow this lovely animal, whose name, as you know, means “Pretty One” to capture just the tiniest place in your heart, if not for her tameness and fondness for humans, then simply as an innocent being whose rarity, a tragedy caused by our own species, must afford her special status whether she has produced offspring or not.
If you agree to release Baixinha to a sanctuary, I will come to meet you in South Africa to celebrate her freedom, and together we can take her to a sanctuary to live out her life safely and in peace. What will no doubt become a public relations nightmare for you, for South Africa, and for the big-game hunting community can be turned around right now if you just say the word.
Please, Mr. Laylin, restore the faith of all those who are outraged by Baixinha’s reported death sentence by saving her life. I can be reached through my friends at PETA at 757-622-7382.