How I Was Roped Like a Rhino by Jeffrey Ulin – Guest Post

How I Was Roped Like a Rhino by Jeffrey Ulin – Guest Post

Today we welcome author Jeffrey Ulin with his guest post ‘How I Was Roped Like a Rhino’. Check out his post below and his new book ‘The Lord’s Tusks‘ which was released on 16th November 2022 – This post contains affiliate links.

Jeff Ulin How I Was Roped Like a Rhino

After studying anthropology at Harvard, Jeff Ulin traveled Africa with a volunteer unit relocating endangered rhinos to sanctuary areas. He cultivated his love of storytelling while working at Skywalker Ranch for George Lucas and managing sales for Star Wars, after which he co-founded and ran animation studio Wild Brain, which produced hit TV for Disney.

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How I Was Roped Like a Rhino

Imagine trying to rope a rhinoceros, much like a calf, throwing a lasso around its magnificent horn. Crazily enough, I once participated in a rhino rescue and in preparation was tasked with playing the part of the rhino’s horn. It’s not a lot of fun being roped. Perhaps I should go back a few steps.

Eons ago I volunteered on a rhino rescue project in Kenya, working as part of a team training a local capture unit. Our mission was to find endangered black rhinos and transport them to sanctuary areas. In practicing for what would be dangerous and choreographed steps I drew the short straw, or in this case, the long horn. Once the rhino was shot with a tranquilizer dart, we would quickly need to measure its size to adjust the drug dosage. Time was critical: rhinos can weigh two to three tons, and we could have been off hundreds of pounds estimating the sedative. The rhino’s life would depend on how quickly we tied it down, put a bag over its head (I know, pulling a hood over its eyes does not ring calming influence; just have to trust me), and calculated its body size. To secure it, though, we first needed to rope it by the horn.

Knowing the rhino would thrash about, we practiced throwing a rope around… me. In case you ever need to do this, here’s four easy steps. First, extend your arm, and bend your elbow at ninety degrees: presto, one rhino horn. Second, keeping your arm bent, sway your arm side to side, pulling it quickly across your body. Third, make a fool of yourself swiveling your head and neck at the same time. Finally, frantically keep moving your horn-arm and leathery head while lying on the ground waiting for some idiot to lasso your horn-arm and tie you up. Scream TikTok video? As an alternative, I’ve made three short videos talking about capturing and moving a rhino, which you can see at

Rhino Selfie jeff ulin

This whole adventure inspired another story: The Lord’s Tusks. The plot of my new novel involves a big game hunter waiting to inherit a Lordship who masterminds a poaching ring smuggling rhino horns and elephant tusks. Thankfully my book is pure fiction; and yet, there really are people who will slaughter some of the most majestic animals gracing the earth in order to sell their parts for profit. I am in awe of these animals and heartbroken that their survival is threatened by debunked tales (that powdered rhino horn conjures up medicinal cures or bolsters sexual prowess) and criminal gangs. Take your right hand, bend your elbow into a practice horn, and then cut it off with a machete. Now you can feel like the last of the rhinos.

I hope you’ll read The Lord’s Tusks, and as a corollary to the story ponder why rhinos and elephants are fighting for their lives. As horrific as the premise of the book may be, there is an underlying conservation imbued theme tugging to rescue these amazing creatures. In fact, the pending Lord’s scheme unravels when a researcher falls in love with his stepdaughter and vows to save the animals at all costs. If only we could rally around a similar mission to protect these animals in real life. More important than reading the book, I hope the story (and pondering why you should not hack off your horn-arm) may inspire you to think about the plight of endangered animals and become involved in conservation efforts. On my website, next to the videos (how to tranquilize a rhino on the open savanna, roping and moving a rhino, and feeding a rhino a carrot out of your hand) is a list of some worthy conservation organizations. Please consider supporting their efforts, and please consider reading The Lord’s Tusks.

The Lords Tusks by Jeff Ulin

The Lord’s Tusks

Author – Jeffrey Ulin
Publisher – Black Rose Writing
Pages – 365
Release Date – 16th November 2022
ISBN 13 – 978-1685130688
Format – ebook, paperback

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Big game hunter Richard Keeton unexpectedly finds himself in line to inherit a British Lordship, but with the family’s wealth in tatters Richard cannot afford the lifestyle commensurate with his pending title.

Hell-bent on restoring riches, Richard realizes he can make a fortune poaching animals. With the help of Alijah, a tribesman, he’s soon secretly slaughtering animals and taking kickbacks to build a network smuggling rhino horns and elephant tusks. Richard’s poaching ring comes under threat when Michael Sandburg, an American researcher, starts dating his stepdaughter and becomes suspicious. What will Michael do if he discovers the truth and has to choose between his future family and a newfound mission to protect endangered animals at all costs?

Jeffrey Ulin’s thrilling adventure weaves romance and intrigue against the tragedy of driving species toward extinction. Read it now and be transported to colonial-tinged polo fields belying the savagery of men willing to butcher majestic animals in their lust for money and privilege.

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