Analysis by Jennifer Viegas
Wed Oct 13, 2010
Rapper 50 Cent, who was shot nine times and lived to tell the tale, is now being pressured by South African community group eblockwatch to support a black rhino that also survived being shot nine times.
The rhino, named "Phila," survived two poaching incidents, during which she sustained wounds from nine bullets fired from automatic weapons.
Phila currently lives on a private farm, whose owner cut off Phila's tusk in hopes of saving her from poachers after the rhino was shot twice. According to the South Africa Sunday Times, poachers still came to the farm later, shooting her 7 more times in an attempt to gouge out what was left of Phila's horn.
The paper reports that conservation groups have noted a spike in poaching incidents from the area this year, with 227 rhinos killed in 2010 alone. That's almost double the entire number of kills from last year: 122.
(A healthy black rhino in the wild; Image: Ikiwaner)
Wildlife experts attribute the increase in poaching incidents to demand from the Asian market, where rhino horn is used in traditional "medicines." It's said to be an aphrodisiac, among other things, a claim that's completely unfounded.
Eblockwatch has been unable to reach 50 Cent, but this community group appears to be as plucky as the rhino. They've already created a popular online campaign utilizing their website and social media to get the word out.
Andre Snyman, founder of the group, says it "will use its tried and tested formula to solve problems by harnessing the collective powers of another South African to try and pursue 50 Cent to be the Godfather to our heroine Rhino Phila."
He added, "We as humble eblockwatch members and fellow South African’s ask if Mr Mandela could assist us (to) make contact with 50 Cent..."
Who knows? Maybe if 50 Cent refuses the offer or remains silent, perhaps various individuals can chip in to support Phila's care. If the rapper does agree to support the rhino, Snyman jokes that Phila should be renamed "One Pound," since she's heftier than 50 Cent.