Rhino Ramblings

If Jackson Pollock were a rhino

What creative genius lies behind these eyes? More than just beauty, Doppsee’s got artistic flair!

Doppsee, resident black rhino and hopeful future mom at Potter Park Zoo, has graciously lent her artistic genius toward Fight for Rhinos Art Auction.

“Doppsee’s Garden” by Doppsee

“In the Mood for Blue” by Doppsee

Don’t miss your chance to own one of these gorgeous originals from the up and coming artist! Auction begins Aug 28th! All proceeds benefit canine APUs.

About the Artist: Doppsee is a ten-year old striking black rhino. Rather sweet-tempered (as far as black rhinos go), when she is not creating art, her interests include dining, mudbaths, and unabashedly seeking out attention from her caregivers.

Dops’ latest hobby involves her love interest, Phinneas. Her new neighbor just moved in from Texas, and they’ve taken quite the liking to one another. The next project for this talented lady? With any luck-motherhood!

Phinneas

Categories: Making a Difference, Poetry & Art, Rhino Ramblings, Rhino Spotlight | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saving rhinos with Art

True colors by Angela Casey

Want to save rhinos?

When Rhinos Fly by Julie Keeney

Need a gift idea?

 

Majestic Ele by David Small

Or just want to treat yourself?

Affordable, unique artwork can be yours.

When: Aug 28 through Sept 4

Where: Online through Bidding Owl

How: Each piece will have a minimum start price, simply choose the piece that catches your eye, and place your bid. At the end of the final day (Sunday, Sept 4) the winning bids will be contacted. You will have 24 hrs to respond. If you do not, the second highest bid will be contacted.

*ALL proceeds will benefit our projects at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya and Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center in South Africa.

 

 

 

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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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Breeding is no easy feat for rhinos

photo: Andrew Batchelor

Arguably one of the most awkward breeding pairs in all of nature…females reach sexual maturity at 3-4 years of age, and males not until 7 years.

If it’s a successful coupling, 15 months later a new baby rhino will make his way into the world!

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If Sudan could speak..

Sudan is THE LAST male northern white rhino on our planet. One of his caregivers at Ol Pejeta Conservancy has some wise words from the majestic, soon to be extinct rhino in his care:

Sudan you are ok and healthy,though you spend many days alone,I wish you can tell the story more than i do; tell them how life was in southern Sudan, before that finger pulled the trigger and saw your brothers, sisters and cousins brought down,helplessly bleeding with their God given horns hacked..

..before humans reproduced and took the land meant for you and your colleagues,tell them what it feels to be last of your kind in the whole world! And tell them that you are the way you are because of them.

Right, let me help you, and I will be straight:  their lust for sex , I mean to satisfy their craving for it, have used your horn as an aphrodisiac, as well as to prove their social status and make them beautiful; yes, their immature beliefs in the medicinal value of your horns.

Tell them that the most stupid man is the one who lives, eats sumptuous food, wears well at the expense of your life, yes….And the most ugliest woman and lady is one who catwalks with ornaments made of rhino horns at the expense of your own natural beauty. Its shame: from the greed of power to the greed of social status quo and boost of immorality.

You are you, just you alone in the world! The truth is that you deserve equal rights with all human beings. Anyway I will stop but I will remind the human race that there is no grief in life as great as denying the truth until it is too late.

The big question is where are you within the circle of conservation my friends- food for thought.🤔

Sudan, photo: James Mwenda

 

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Survivor and Mom..twice

Survivor of a brutal poaching

from Kariega Reserve 2012

Bringer of hope and life, becoming a mom

with daughter Thembi, Kariega Reserve, 2015

 

Defying the odds, birthing a second calf

with son, Colin, April 2017

Is there anyone who embodies what it means to be a mom more than the infamous Thandi? Happy Mother’s Day!

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For some, poaching is a “second job”

In a 2015 study of admitted poachers in the largest park in Tanzania, 4 out of 5 admitted to poaching for food or income. But not all of them poached due to extreme poverty (in need of food and shelter) .  For many it was a means of supplemental  income. In fact only 8% used poaching as their only source of income. by Conservation and Society

                                                                                                                   Out of 171 poachers, 60 had some form of employment.

The poachers with other means of income were using poaching as a means to advance their families out of day to day living.

“While our poachers and their households had adequate food and shelter, most lacked abilities to send children to school, or advance themselves in any meaningful way,” said Eli Knapp, lead author of the study.

 

This changes the popular assumption that people only poach out of absolute need.

For more on the study by Conservation and Society, see: Probing Rural Poachers in Africa: why do they poach?

Ruaha National Park, largest park in Tanzania, photo: Lonely Planet

 

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Clash of the Titans


Check out these amazing photos of a black rhino brawl. A younger male confronted the older bull. Both endured battle wounds, but walked away in one piece, with the youngster eventually submitting to the more seasoned veteran.

Photos: Richard de Lange/Africa Geographic

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Ranger James: caretaker of the last male Northern White Rhino

Name: James
Age: 29
Location: Ol Pejeta in Kenya
I have been a ranger for the last 5 years now,3 years as a rhino patrol man and 2 years now as the last three northern white rhinos caretaker.
I grew with a passion for the conservation of nature,I realised there was need to have a right-minded people who would speak out for poaching stricken elephants and rhinos, as well other living things. After my high school and I was unable to fund further education, I decided to get a job that would allow me to be close to these animals and serve to protect them.

Northern Whites by Tony Karumba

 
What has been your most rewarding and most difficult moment as a ranger?
 The most rewarding thing (as a ranger) is to see the rhino populations rise steadily,more so the role they play in the ecosystem  and the tourism sector as well.
The most difficult and worse of it as a ranger is the site of a poached rhino. You take care of a rhino for years and then in one night or day a poacher kills it and hacks off its horn and make millions, its horrible!! Leaving the whole carcass and blood spilt everywhere..too sad.
What do you do in your off days?
In my off days I like to do a lot, from nature walks, birding, playing guitar, reading and hiking too.
Where would you like to travel someday?
I would ike to travel a lot; from America and other parts of Africa and meet different people and diverse culture, beliefs and practices, as well as other adorable living things.
What is your favorite animal?
Rhino of course.
What’s one thing you wish you had to make your job easier?
I need learning. I know and understand that it is an essential tool that can curb poaching at a very great extent, its one tool I yearn for everyday.

Sudan, photo: James Mwenda

You work with Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino. You see a lot of tourists come and go. Do you think they truly understand the gravity of the situation with him and the other two?
When we are addressing the plight of rhinos, the awareness point of it is very crucial. In my personal tours with visitors to Sudan, I can truly see them understand the gravity of the whole crisis facing the N.whites. I have seen from emotional transitions to assertions that we all must do something to save and avoid the black and white rhinos from facing the same threat as the N.whites; to a positive and conservation oriented people.
The story of the northern whites is a mind changing and transforming one. Sudan alone is a voice himself to the human race,who have reduced all his relatives,brothers and sisters. He is also appealing to political leaders who have facilitated political instability and thus their massacre; at a greater extent they are playing a major role in ambassadoring for other species too.
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Ranger headquarters in shambles

Rangers go out on patrol for days at a time, in the wet, the heat, the cold to battle the unknown. But before they head out, they gather in the lecture/mess tent; to learn, to prepare, to eat, to share fellowship.

This is the scenario for our friends at NKWE, a wildlife security group training and employing rangers for nature reserves around Limpopo, and assisting SAPS in poaching investigations.

Recently their headquarters tent was torn in half by a storm, leaving them without a dry, shaded area for their gathering, a crucial part of their daily operation.

 

In addition to being the headquarters for their rangers, they also utilize the tent to assist the local community preparing food during community events; an important part of building relationships and trust with the locals.

NKWE provided dinner for the local community after a funeral.

NKWE prides itself on high standards of training, with a 12 month program in place in order for rangers to reach competency. The costs for such a lengthy and in-depth training is immense, with costs of R100,000 per recruit.

Recruits during a lecture.

For this reason, they need our help.

The tent is $971 to replace. Your donations would be immensely helpful. Please go to PayPal on our page and donate what you can.

Categories: Making a Difference, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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