There's no simple answer to the philosophical and perhaps even moral question of whether in removing risk we also remove meaning from our brief, potential-filled time on this planet. I don't share my habitat with crocodiles or elephants or tigers, or even boar. But I do know that the eye of that reef shark will be etched forever in my mind, and that I can't bear the thought of a world where no creature could ever make me afraid.
Africa's wildlife is what sets the continent apart from the rest of the world. It is their best resource. With many areas tormented by political dispute, poverty and an on-going battle with the demon that is HIV, it seems that the people of Africa need to realise the significance of what remains. So why is it then that they can so easily be seen as passive in its destruction?
Sadly, there are millions of humans who want to see rhinos dead. Most of them are in the Far East. Humans who think the horn of the white or black rhino can be ground down and ingested to improve their sex lives, cure cancer or ward off evil spirits. Humans who are prepared to pay heavily-armed poachers to shoot and maim these animals, hack off their horn and ship it half way around the world to China. It's the new drug trade in Africa, a multi-million dollar industry that commands $65,000 a kilo for rhino horn. An average rhino horn is about 5kg. It's not hard to do the maths.
I am shocked, but not surprised, to find ourselves in the middle of another poaching crisis, one that is having massive impact throughout the African continent. A small trinket or a large extravagant ornament made of ivory will have had a bloody start as most ivory these days is illegal; hacked from the face of a dead or dying elephant.