This photograph, called “The Last Goodbye,” is by Ami Vitale and won a People’s Choice Award in the 2020 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. We’re seeing the final goodbye between Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino, and one of his caretakers, Joseph Wachira shortly before Sudan’s death at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya following a series of infections and other health problems.
Northern White Rhinos were hunted to extinction in the wild by 2008. Sudan only survived because he was living in a zoo. Rhinos were hunted as big game trophies and their horns are considered aphrodisiacs, hangover cures, and status symbols in certain parts of the world. And so we’ve lost one of God’s creatures to the snake oil and vanity of the globe’s elite.
It is precisely this tendency in us for the powerful to exploit the weak that delivered Jesus to the cross. In that sense, at least, Christ and Sudan are connected—in weakness, in exploitation, in innocence, and in death.
Let us pray as Sudan’s caretaker Joseph Wachira prays:
Father, we come before your presence. We pray to thank you for the days that you’ve given us life. When you brought these animals into this world you commanded us to watch over them. You are the creator of the animals we protect. Let us live longer to watch over them. Amen.
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Jesus the Imagination
Thoughts and dreams, musings and meditations