ONLY ON KOLD: Hunted for horns - Tucson News Now

ONLY ON KOLD: Hunted for horns

Tucsonan Craig Sawyer is a Navy SEAL fighting to save the rhino from extinction. Tucsonan Craig Sawyer is a Navy SEAL fighting to save the rhino from extinction.
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

When a Navy SEAL gets choked up about something you pay attention.

Tucsonan Craig Sawyer is fighting to save the rhino from extinction in a new TV show on Animal Planet. He is counting on you to fight with him, and save an animal that is 50 to 60 million years old from being wiped off the planet forever.

"The situation appealed to me just by being an animal lover my whole life," Sawyer said.

Rhinos are majestic. Docile by nature and innocent. Most likely tonight, they will be ambushed, murdered and killed by poachers - simply for their horns.

"It's horrendous," Sawyer said.

Sawyer has been in the fiercest of battles. He has fought for America in missions he can't even talk about. This time his fight is anything but a secret. Sawyer was asked to use his skills to fight the war on rhino poaching in South Africa for a television show. To not only show the brutality that's happening there, but to stop it.

"I don't care what you have seen or what kind of battles you have been through," Sawyer said. "My team are all decorated combat veterans, but it pulled at all of our heartstrings when we saw things like a mother and her calf rhino who had been poached and they died trying to get back to each other in the violence and confusion. The nights when poachers were gunning them down with AK-47s."

One horn sells on the black market for a half-million dollars. On average two rhinos are killed each night. But what poachers don't know is that this blood sport has just changed.

"We attacked it from all angles," Sawyer said.

Sawyers' team of SEALs and Green Berets talked to locals, raiding homes and stopping cars with roadblocks, all to take down poachers and save rhinos.

"That is what we are all about," Sawyer said.

If the killing continues, rhino will be on the road to extinction in four years. But Sawyer says it's not too late.

"This war is winnable but it is going to take some real effort. We can't do it by ourselves. Tucsonans as a whole really have a love of animals. They need us to get in there and help them. They can't defend themselves especially against men with AK-47s."

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