When it comes to protecting our rhinos from poachers, there's not a one-size-fits-all solution. There are several ways that national parks, game reserves and organisations are fighting rhino poaching, from fitting rhinos with tracking devices, having anti-poaching units on the ground actively monitoring them, rhino dehorning, education drives, and more. And these do not happen in isolation either, as often a combination of methods are needed to successfully deter poachers. Naturally, all of these hero organisations doing the hard work protecting our rhinos need funds to operate. That's why we at Rhino Africa have recently launched our Rhinos Saving Rhinos Fundraising Initiative. With this, we're intending to raise $100,000 to help our Impact Partner Wildlife ACT in their noble efforts of protecting the rhino and saving the species from extinction.
The Full Picture
According to WWF, only around 27,000 rhinos remain on earth. And this number has dropped drastically from the 70,000 counted in 1970.
The latest South African rhino poaching statistics record 451 rhino deaths due to poaching in 2021. Of these, 327 were on government reserves, and 124 were on private property. Since this is the first time poaching has increased in the country in seven years, these figures mark a violent change.
More importantly, the increase in poaching on private properties is concerning. However, it does help that it's much easier to monitor and protect rhinos on these smaller properties than in large national parks like Kruger National Park.
How We're Protecting Our Rhinos
Each reserve has its own strategy in place for protecting our rhinos against poaching. One example is rhino dehorning, which has proven to be one of the most effective strategies to put in place.
Rhino dehorning was first implemented in Namibia as a desperate measure and quickly proved very successful. Between 1989 and 1990, thanks to dehorning and rapid security improvements, not a single dehorned rhino was killed. Zimbabwe has also seen positive results, proving that their dehorned rhinos have a 29.9% higher chance of survival.
The Kruger National Park used to be the main area of concern. However, recent attacks on smaller private game reserves have left South Africans reeling from the unnecessary slaughter of rhinos just for their horns. Therefore, more and more reserves are taking every course of action to fight against the threat of poaching.
Why Dehorn Rhinos?
Rhino dehorning may seem excessive, but research has shown that it has proven successful in deterring poachers. The reason for this is that once the rhino has been dehorned, poachers no longer have a reason to launch an attack and will move on. However, rhino dehorning is not enough on its own. Even after they've been dehorned, they still need to be monitored.
Does It Hurt When You Dehorn Rhinos?
No, they don't feel anything. Rhino horn is made of keratin, much like your hair and nails. And just like your hair and nails also do, their rhino horn will eventually grow back. Therefore, rhino dehorning is not a point-in-time exercise, but a continuous exercise that is required to protect them from poachers. We need to dehorn rhinos every 12-24 months to adequately deter poachers.
Who Fights to Protect Our Rhinos from Poachers?
There are various organisations that assist with rhino conservation activities. One of Rhino Africa's Impact Partners, Wildlife ACT, is one of these. They work tirelessly to protect Africa's wildlife and open spaces. Together with the South African police's endangered species unit and SANParks environmental crimes inspectorates, it's an ongoing battle that requires many resources.
Although their operations run all over Africa, Wildlife ACT has achieved noteworthy feats in the wildlife reserves of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, successfully tracking and protecting several rhinos from poacher attacks.
About Wildlife ACT Fund
The Wildlife ACT Fund is a non-profit trust aiming to save our planet's endangered wildlife and wild places from extinction. They're a team of passionate, experienced, on-the-ground conservationists doing critical work where it's needed most.
Their Wildlife ACT Trust ensures that they can deliver time and expertise, implement anti-poaching measures, find and fund equipment, and educate local communities daily.
If you'd like to find out more about Wildlife ACT's conservation efforts, you can download their Impact Report here.
“Information is key – you cannot conserve what you don’t know – and it is through this lens that Wildlife ACT works to implement strategic monitoring and research to inform and enable effective conservation management of wildlife.” – Wildlife ACT’s Co-Founder and Director of Species Conservation, Chris Kelly.
Make a Difference Today
The reality is that a rhino is killed every day in South Africa. Ironically, rhinos do not have any enemies in the wild – just us humans. Yet, we are also their only hope.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of World Rhino Day, so we want to honour this species by raising considerable funds to conserve the lives of these beloved creatures.
Rhinos Saving Rhinos
The 2022 Rhinos Saving Rhinos Fundraising Competition supports our Impact Partner Wildlife ACT with their applaudable rhino conservation efforts in South Africa.
We're aiming to raise over $100,000 in support of Wildlife ACT's incredible conservation work. And because this cause is so close to our hearts (we even named ourselves after this animal!), we're throwing in a couple of exciting prizes you stand a chance to win.
By entering our fundraising competition, you could stand a chance to win one of three luxury holidays, including the opportunity to partake in one of these exclusive rhino conservation hands-on experiences to help save the species.
You also receive the peace of mind that comes with making a tangible difference in aid of the survival of this species. You can read all the details of this initiative here.
Or click below to donate now! Please know that no donation is too small. No matter how insignificant you think your contribution might be, it makes a big difference. Every little bit helps!
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