I am currently raising money for Helping Rhinos who do a great deal of work in rhino conservation. Their mission is ‘to rescue and protect rhino in their natural habitat by delivering tangible results in anti-poaching and habitat preservation; to instigate educational initiatives that highlight the importance of conserving rhino and other endangered species and the benefits that can be derived from a sustainable co-existence between man and wildlife.’
Projects by Helping Rhinos include work with the ‘Black Mambas’, South Africa’s first all female anti-poaching unit based in the troubled Great Kruger Park, whom have helped drastically reduce poaching in the area and provided some much-needed income. Helping Rhinos also work closely with Ol Pejeta Conservancy, which is home to the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa and is also home to last two northern white rhinos on the planet. Helping Rhinos are also committed to creating eternally sustainable environments for endangered wildlife by investing in special Wildlife Conservation Sites. Every hectare that is secured helps create a future for rhino, elephant, lion, and other endangered species
Kariega Game Reserve
It was at Kariega that I decided to get involved in saving rhinos. I was thrilled to return there with 12 hi-tech bush cameras paid for from the proceeds of Rhino Tear Jewellery. The cameras have been a valuable asset in supporting the rhino conservation project there.
This is what Kariega have to say on their website - "After Thandi and Themba were poached, Kariega was flooded with requests to contribute to the medical care of these two survivors. In response to this overwhelming support the Kariega Foundation created a special fund dedicated to the rehabilitation and care of our rhino. Most of our efforts are now geared towards anti poaching on the reserve and trying as best we can to continue protecting our rhino. Some of our projects include: Rehabilitation of a surviving poached rhino; Dehorning of rhino - ideally at least once per year; Fitting of transmitter devices (assists greatly with effective monitoring) including helicopter, veterinary drugs and bracelet transmitter; Eastern Cape Helicopter support program; Security personnel in addition to normal reserve staff and a Dedicated anti poaching vehicle (and more)".
Thandi's Endangered Species Association
In February 2017 two armed men stormed into an orphanage, held the staff hostage, ripped out the security cameras and shot two 18-month-old white rhinos, Impy and Gugu in Thula Thula rhino orphanage in South Africa. I sent money via Thandi’s Endangered Species Assocation (‘TESA’) to help provide security to prevent the rest of the baby rhino population from being poached and to help them recover from such a disturbing attack.
Yvette Taylor, a manager at Thula Thula and executive director of Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization said: "The sad reality is that these aggressive poaching attacks are not only pushing rhino closer to the brink of extinction, but also endangering the safety of their human custodians," Taylor said. "Poachers are becoming increasingly brazen, better informed and often better armed. The monetary gains are huge and they don't hesitate to engage game rangers, protection staff or carers to get to the rhino. It would seem the latest 'soft' targets are rhino orphanages who are trying to deal with the consequences of the adult rhino fatalities."
S T R O O P Film
Late in 2016 we donated some funds to S T R O O P Film to help them translate their work into a Vietnamese. Vietnam has a strong market for rhino horn, due to a traditional belief in its medicinal value (despite it actually being made out of the same material of human hair and nails). The need to inform and try to convince a small proportion of the Vietnamese population that rhino horn has absolutely no healing properties, is a difficult but highly important long term strategy to devalue the rhino horn and try to stop poaching.
Here is what STROOP Film have to say on their Facebook page: “This is an independently funded Afrikaans feature film about the rhino poaching crisis in South Africa. Our film industry says that no-one wants to watch a film exposing all aspects of the crisis. We disagree and we hope to prove that support through this campaign. It is wonderful that you share this campaign via social media, but the biggest impact you can have is to help make this film and prove that sometimes, hard-hitting films are supported by the public. If this is a film that you would come to see at the movie theaters, please pledge your support on the right for as little as R10. We will look back at this time and wonder if this was the turning point and what was being done to stop the slow eradication of our rhinos in the wild. This has to be documented for the future.”
# gifts with a purpose