Locus Focus on 10/01/12
THE BLACK RHINOS OF NAMIBIA: An Interview with writer Rick Bass
The Namib desert in Southwest Africa is one of the oldest landscapes in the world. It is home to the black rhino, a 3,000 pound nearly blind super-survivor that sports three-foot-long dagger horns and is capable of eating poisonous plants and going for days without water. Caught in the crossfire during the endless war between Angola and the South African Defense Force, with both sides poaching rhinos and elephants to help fund the war, the black rhino population was decimated by the mid 1990s.
On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Montana writer, Rick Bass, whose new book The Black Rhinos of Namibia describes conservation efforts that have saved the rhinos in Namibia from the brink of extinction—for now. But the book is about much more than black rhinos. We'll probe the complex relationship between humans and nature and look at the larger questions about how humans play the roles of both the destroyer and the savior of endangered species like black rhinos, grizzlies and wolves.
Rick Bass is the author of many acclaimed works of fiction and nonfiction and is especially known for his writings about grizzlies and wolves, the iconic animals of his home country: the Yaak Valley of Northern Montana.