When we see ‘rhino’ flashing in a news headline, we know more often than not, that it’s not good news. Frequently, we hear an unfortunate rise on rhino poaching statistics,or more facts about endangered rhinos being killed or mutilated for their horns.
However, thanks to the amazing individuals and organisations that are working hard to stop rhino poaching and conserve,protect and foster this amazing species of animal – sometimes bad rhino news can have a happy ending.
On the night of May 7th, a female rhino was slaughtered at the Kapama Private Game Reserve in South Africa by poachers. Rangers were immediately alerted but by the time they made it to the scene of the crime, the poachers had fled and the rhino was hornless and dead. Lying next to the dead rhino, the rangers found a baby rhino crying inconsolably and refusing to move. The rangers brought the baby rhino to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center in South Africa, where it has bonded with the nominated carer of the center. The baby rhino, affectionately named by Gretjie by the staff, has found a firm friend in it’s carer and can often be seen laying his head on her lap and engaging in playful and affectionate tussles with her and the sanctuaries other staff.
Despite the tragic circumstances, the orphaned baby rhino is adapting well to the life at the sanctuary. Gretjie, who already ways over 242 pounds, takes two long walks daily and follows an intense feeding schedule, drinking about 1.5 litres of milk formula per day. The Rhino will be monitored and fostered in the sanctuary until it is fit to return to the wild, it is out there that rangers and anti-poaching forces will strive to protect Gretjie from meeting the same fate as her mother.
According to the Department of Environmental Affairs in the Republic of South Africa, the total number of rhino poached in South Africa last year increased to 1,004, or 50 percent, from 2012.
A recent memorandum* released by the South African Government on May 14 2014, noted that representatives from South Africa and Mozambique have concluded a draft of the implementation plan that will put into action a new initiative to stop rhino poaching. New state-led fundraising programs will support programs to stop rhino poaching, wildlife trafficking in general, community development issues and raising awareness about the need for rhino conservation. Furthermore, attention will be put towards a more robust enforcement strategy against rhino poaching.
Since January 1st 2014, a total of 106 people have been arrested for rhino-poaching related offences. Kruger National Park continues to bear the brunt of rhino poaching in South Africa, with 245 rhinos being killed for their horn in 2014 alone. A total of 39 rhinos have been poached in Limpopo, 37 in KwaZulu-Natal and 26 in the North-West.
We, the Locked Horn Project, believe that one of our greatest tools to stop rhino poaching is education. To help spread awareness we will now be updating our site frequently with the latest poaching news, rhino facts and updates on the fight against rhino poaching and ways you can get involved to protect endangered rhinos and support rhino conservation.