Good News

Kenya keeps hope alive for the black rhino


In 2013, after a trip to Samburu, Nakuru, Amboseli and Masaai Mara, the one disturbing theme was “There used to be rhinos here.” Aside from an occasional siting on the Mara, rhinos had vanished, wiped from what used to be their home.

In contrast Ol Pejeta was maintaining a safe haven for both white and black rhinos within the sanctuary.

Black rhino at Ol Pejeta.

But today, there is something stirring in the bush that wasn’t there on my trip-hope.

In 2015, with combined efforts of Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) and Lewa Conservancy, several black rhinos were reintroduced to Samburu. They have been relocated to a 21,000 acre sanctuary in Sera Community Conservancy  with hopes they will slowly reestablish a population in the area.

Inside Sera’s translocation, photo courtesy of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

This is the first time in Kenya, a community is responsible for the protection and management of black rhino, as it is usually a goverment led initiative.

In February of 2017, the  Sera conservancy will launch a black rhino tracking safari to further their investment in tourism.

Additionally, both Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy have been successful in maintaining a healthy, breeding population of black rhinos. In fact, so much so, they have run into the situation of reaching maximum capacity.

The success of both sanctuaries stems from their surrounding areas; it is a symbiotic relationship when communities see the financial benefit from tourism, and ultimately the key to keeping the rhino alive.

 

 

 

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Miracle rhino gives birth (again)!

Thandi’s a mama (again)-watch the video

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First glimpses of mama and baby from Ranger Daniel @ Kariega.    

Read about Thandi’s Story and about her first baby, Thembi, It’s Official, Thandi’s a mum! 

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Dogs are changing the world for rhinos

One of our greatest passions at Fight for Rhinos is in helping canine anti-poaching units. Dogs are a huge game-changer in the poaching war!

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Rhino Wrap up 2016

What a year! While rhino poaching persists, so does the war to stop it. This year thanks to the generosity and concern from all of you, we have managed to provide much needed help to the following:

Kruger Park APU

$2370.00 usd to human tracker training— We received a plea for help from a ranger who was part of a smaller APU in southern Kruger. They had been hit by the poaching of rhino in their area and felt they needed to be better equipped to prevent being hit again.

We were able to provide human tracker training where they learned more about early detection in suspicious human activity, (i.e. poaching camps, tracks, snares) apprehension of suspicious individuals,and gathering intelligence and evidence.

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Some of the APU involved in tracker training.

Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre

$5500.00 usd to APU canine training–The centre specializes in cheetahs and various wildlife rehabilitation, but with the large number of rhinos being poached, there is a huge need for help rehabilitating the rhino orphans.

Having taken in several rhinos, the need for increased security includes initiating a canine unit for their APU. We started with Chloe, one of the APU dogs for the entire Kapama area (of which HESC is a part). From there, we were able to help with HESC’s own canine unit, including Zee and Bullet.

The training includes the advanced levels for all dogs, including a trainer from the Centre who will accompany them.

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Zee and Bullet @HESC

  Ol Pejeta Conservancy

$3000.00 usd to anti-poaching supplies— Home to the largest black rhino sanctuary in east Africa, as well as the last three Northern White Rhinos on the planet, security is probably THE most urgent need for Ol Pejeta. Everything from boots and tents to training and upgrades are needed to benefit the APUs. (More details to follow).

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OPC rangers take part in regular trainings to keep their skills sharp.

Thank you for fighting with us in this poaching war. Your donations are not taken lightly. For each amount given leads to action taken to protect rhinos and to keep rangers safe. Please continue to work with us, together we ARE making a difference!

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EVERY rhino counts

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Protecting rhinos with 4-legged rangers

We are pleased to announce with YOUR generosity, we have been able to fully fund the training of Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre’s APU canine unit!

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Trainer, Corlet; photo: HESC

A word to all of you from our friends at HESC:

Words cannot sufficiently express our gratitude towards Fight for Rhinos for being one of our most ardent and loyal supporters.

Fight for Rhinos generously committed to assisting with the successful care and training of our anti-poaching canines at HESC – both for the protection of our rhinos and the rangers.

Over the past few months, Fight for Rhinos has managed to successfully raise an amazing ZAR80 000 (5500 usd) which they’ve donated to HESC’s Wildlife Conservation Trust.

We are so thrilled by their effort and generosity. A BIG thank you to Fight for Rhinos and each and every person who contributed towards the campaign.

You can continue protecting rhinos by sponsoring our canine units at HESC and Ol Pejeta Conservancy with a monthly OR one time donation. Every dollar is a help toward keeping them safe.

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Zee and Bullet with handler, Simon. photo: HESC

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Small birds with their Big friends

Some lovely photos from our friend Jo:

 

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Because every so often hearts need to be lifted

This video is three years old. Ntombi’s not so little anymore, but this bit of footage still serves as my reminder of what we fight so hard for, and as medicine to settle my often broken heart.

 

 

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A “Bullet” for future poachers

The anti-poaching units work long hard hours in harsh conditions. They are tough, skilled, dependable and absolutely imperative to the survival of our remaining rhinos. And some of them aren’t even human.

Welcome Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centres newest recruit: Bullet.

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Bullet is an 8 week old Malinois. He will already begin his training within the week! Anti-poaching dogs are HIGHLY effective in the war on poaching, but can cost up to $10,000 for one animal!

We have so far raised approximately $400 toward Chloe’s training, and are looking to further help Bullet and other members of the canine APU team at HESC.

Your help is needed and appreciated! DONATE via Paypal and please help spread the word! With your help, someday soon Bullet will be able to easily sniff out ammunition and gun powder just like Chloe!

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Meet Chloe

The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre is a South African wildlife sanctuary devoted to rehabilitating endangered and vulnerable animals, most notably the cheetah and rhino.

In recent weeks, they have taken in several orphaned rhinos, and it is critical their security and anti-poaching efforts are maximized, for the safety of the animals and staff.

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Fight for Rhinos is working with the HESC on canine training for their APU. We urgently need your support to send Chloe through her anti-poaching training to keep these little ones safe during their rehabilitation.

Chloe is a 2 year old Belgian Malinois. What makes Chloe so special is that she has been selected for anti-poaching training at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre!
Often poachings are only discovered after a rhino is killed. The key to a successful anti-poaching unit is the ability to be pro-active and minimize the loss of rhinos in the first place.

A well trained dog is an integral part of that plan. As a Belgian Malinois, Chloe is gifted with the intelligence and ability to smell and detect the faintest of scents. In fact, many of the APUs in Kruger National Park utilize the same breed.

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Ranger and dog in vehicle search at Kruger. photo:SanParks

 According to Albe, the head of the APU who will be handling her, “Chloe can help us to detect contraband in vehicles , houses  and areas around houses or also at crime scenes. She will be used during road blocks with the police and we will check all vehicles entering our reserve. This pro-active work will deter poachers from coming into our area in the first place. If they dare to enter our reserve, the dog will be able to detect the hidden firearms and ammunition before the poachers will be able to kill the rhinos.”

          DONATE FOR CHLOE

Training will take place for ten weeks, a week of which will be spent on the reserve she will be protecting. With this training, she will be accredited and registered. This is important, as only evidence found by an accredited dog can be used in a court for criminal prosecution.
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