*A South African community group is requesting that rapper 50 Cent become the “godfather” to a rhino who survived a poaching attack after being shot nine times, just like the platinum-selling artist.
The black rhino named Phila survived two poaching attacks this year, despite being shot a total of nine times, community policing group eBlockwatch told South Africa’s The Sunday Times.
50 Cent was also shot nine times as he left drug-dealing on the streets of New York to begin his music career.
“We want to ask him if he wants to become the godfather of our rhino so that he can create awareness worldwide about rhino poaching,” said Andre Snyman of eBlockwatch, which wants to tackle poaching in addition to its efforts to stop general crime.
Phila was shot twice in July but survived, he told the paper. Her owner on a private farm then cut off her horn to try to protect her, but three weeks later poachers returned, shot her seven times, and tried to hack out the stub.
Rhino poaching has doubled this year in South Africa, with 227 slaughtered so far compared to 122 in all of last year. Experts blame the increase on demand for rhino horns in China and Vietnam, where it is used in traditional medicine.
If the rapper agrees to take on the project, Snyman said Phila could be renamed One Pound, because she’s bigger than 50 Cent.