Posts Tagged With: Helping Rhinos

Where we stand

rhino graphi HR aug 2015

South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs has officially announced the latest poaching stats. The accuracy is debatable, considering their definition of poaching.

Rhinos killed whose horns were left intact are not part of the stats. Rhinos who survived, such as Hope and iThemba, are not part of the stats, and pregnant cows who were killed-the babies are not included in the stats.

Regardless, at this point the numbers are slightly down, and offer a glimmer of hope.

Much of this “success”, can be summed up best by Sam Ferreira, an ecologist at SANParks, “Poacher activities increased, but number of rhinos killed per day has not. That’s the difference rangers make.”
They ARE the lifeline for our rhinos.

For our part in the poaching war, this remains-we will persevere and continue to look for and support the best combined efforts to fight for the future of rhinos. We will be off to South Africa shortly to meet with our other members of the Rhino Alliance, as well as others to take inventory on current projects and explore possibilities for future ones.

We cannot stress how deeply we appreciate your continued support in our endeavors. Without the generosity and heart of individuals like you, we cannot do what we do!

Stay tuned for updates when we return!

rhino and oxpecker close up michael moss

Photo: Michael Moss

 

Fight_for_Rhinos_2_3                                                                     Endelea Kupigana! (keep fighting)

 

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Vision Africa Wildlife: Bringing people and wildlife together

One of the ways Fight for Rhinos and Helping Rhinos has assisted rhinos in 2014 was through Vision Africa Wildlife.

vision africa wildlife

What makes Vision Africa unique is the way they utilize the community in order to save wildlife, our rhinos included.

They find solutions to animal/human conflict and put self-sustaining projects in place within the community;  changing minds and creating safe environments for wildlife, while still caring for the needs of local farmers and people in those area.

They currently focus on five projects, one of which focuses a poaching deterrent for rhinos. In a new and advanced system, the rhino are constantly tracked and monitored on the reserve. This technology is making a real difference.

Volunteers  assist in their efforts and also experience wildlife conservation from “behind the scenes” as part of the reserve management.

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Similar rhino tracking equipment in Zimbabwe. Photo via International Rhino Foundation.

Thanks to your donations, we have been able to provide the funding to secure  the last piece of software required to complete the development of this technology. Our grant of $2650 will help protect rhinos on the Vision Africa reserve, as well as neighboring farms.

In addition we were able to give a further $2730 to purchase the necessary body armour for their tracking dog. The monitoring technology in combination with the trained tracking dog will keep rhinos much safer than they were 12 months ago.

For information on volunteering opportunities to assist with keeping rhinos safe: Vision Africa Volunteer Info

project rhino track

Protect rhino track. Photo via Helping Rhinos

 

 

 

 

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Our Latest “Field Projects” Report

Helping Rhinos & Fight for Rhinos Donation Allocation November 2014

We are very happy to have been able to provide the funding needed for Vision Africa Wildlife to secure the last piece of software they require to complete the development of their rhino tracking product.  Our grant of £1,700 will help to protect rhinos on the Vision Africa reserves and also their neighbouring farms.

vision-africa-logo-1We are also very happy to have provided Vision Africa with a further £1,750 to purchase the required body armour for their tracking dog.  The software being implemented (above) in conjunction with the abilities of a highly trained tracking dog, who is now much better protected from the threat of running into the poachers, will we believe make the rhinos in the area where Vision Africa operate much better protected than they were just 12 months ago.


November also saw us provide sponsorship to Reserve Protection Agency in support of their Technology Demonstrations in South Africa.  The demonstrations will be supported by the Department of Environmental Affairs, SANParks, a number of private rhino owners and will help validate the merits of new technology which can be rolled out into both national parks and private reserves alike.  Stay tuned for more information as when it is available.  In total Helping Rhinos have provided £5,000 for these key initiatives that will help improve the safety of many different rhino populations.

r8-jeep-webIn addition, we provided a further £2,500 to Reserve Protection Agency as co sponsors of their latest J8 Jeep.  Along with the other sponsor, Jankel, we are really pleased to have been able to help bring this military spec jeep into South Africa where it will be located at a number of different reserves in support of their anti-poaching work, including Kruger National Park.


This quarter also saw Helping Rhinos continue their support of Game Reserves United as we provided £2,500 to allow them to purchase some key software.  This software will allow far more effective collaboration of the private reserves that make up GRU and the world famous Kruger National Park.  It is key for us at Helping Rhinos to provide essential support to the rhino populations of the Greater Kruger Park.

game_reserves_united_logoIn addition, we provided £1,500 to GRU member Balule for the purchase of a quad bike to help assist with key anti-poaching activities such as fence checking.  It will also allow rangers to move around the reserve  in a much more effecient manner, meaning they cover much more ground on a daily basis in their work to prevent poaching.


We also welcomed a new partner to our books this quarter – the Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage, based in KwaZulu-Natal.thul thula  The Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage hope to open before the end of 2014, and our donation of £3,000 will allow the management team to purchase the required veterinary and nursing equipment they need before they can bring in their first rhino orphan.  Stay tuned for more information on the Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage.


 

Of course, we continue with our adoption scheme of the northern white rhinosbased at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in thumbnail opcKenya.  Your support of our adoption scheme resulted is us sending funds totalling £1,075.  The funding raised through our adoption scheme will help maintain a safe and natural habitat for the rhinos at Ol Pejeta. See our Adoption page to see how you can help us provide even more funding to Ol Pejeta.

Thank you for your continued support! YOU make this happen!
Please consider making a donation to help us continue our work in saving rhinos.

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Looking to the Future on World Rhino Day

World Rhino Day mom and babe

With 790 rhino poached this year, 2014 is on its way toward topping last year’s death toll. With the shadow of corruption within the national parks and government looming large over the fate of rhinos, it is difficult to feel optimistic about their future.

Yet, there are bright spots to illuminate the darkness.

World Youth Rhino Summit

Over 100 future conservationists (15-17 years of age), are convening at the first World Youth Rhino Summit  focused on the rhino poaching crisis. The demand for horn, and loss of rhinos affects countries across the world, not just in South Africa. The aim of the summit is to plant the seed of conservation in future rhino ambassadors throughout the globe.

world youth rhino summit 2

Over 140 delegates come together in the iMfolozi Game Reserve to address the poaching crisis and discuss resolutions.

Rhinos Without Borders

The initiative started with a successful translocation of 6 rhinos from South Africa to Botswana. Since then, Rhinos Without Borders is looking to move 100 rhinos to safer areas. With the future of the rhinos at stake, this move serves to increase the geographical spread of the rhino population throughout southern Africa, as well as introducing a new gene pool into Botswana. Translocation will be pivotal in the preservation of the species.

rhinos without borders

Previous translocation from Rhinos Without Borders and & Beyond.

 Thandi

Our beautiful, resilient, soon-to-be mom will remain the ambassador for her kind. She is and always will be an inspiration to keep us all going! We’re all waiting with bated breath for her to give birth sometime this December.

Thandi

WATCH: Latest video of Dr. Fowlds visit with Thandi

And as always, Fight for Rhinos and Helping Rhinos will continue putting our all into the best options we can find in assuring the future of these magnificent creatures. Currently, that includes  *Reserve Protection Agency       *Game Reserves United       *Ol Pejeta Conservancy                      *Project Rhino Track      *Stop the Demand Campaign

We CAN turn this around, but we need you! Please donate if you can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rhino Art – Don’t Miss Out!

LotMain_2384_1409756187(1)

This stunning masterpiece was painted by Devon Wildlife Artist and Conservationist, Eleanor Ludgate – this has been exclusively painted for Helping Rhinos and is truly unique!  Want to own it? Join Helping Rhino’s online auction TODAY, SEPT 9!

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This painting of former South African president Nelson Mandela was painted by acclaimed South African artist Mary Fowlds .

Paintings and more prizes are up for grabs in the auction. Proceeds will benefit the Rhino Art UK competition. The funds will go directly to paying for 3 students and 1 teacher from the UK to attend the inaugural World Youth Rhino Summit on the 21st to 23rd of September this year.

The World Youth Rhino Summit will be a focused gathering of 100 young conservation leaders aged 15-17 years from South Africa, other African countries affected by rhino poaching, consumer countries in Asia, and other representative counties. Delegates, educators, and conservation leaders, will be brought together at the symbolic iMfolozo Game Reserve to directly address the current rhino poaching crisis and develop resolutions needed to stop rhino poaching.

Bidding starts today and closes Sept 16th. Helping Rhinos online auction

 

 

 

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Rangers: the Frontline on the Rhino War

Wealthy Asian businessmen , airport seizures of horn and ivory, silent apathy from politicians, ongoing heated trade debates…a ferocious circle surrounding and depleting our rhinos and elephants. Yet, at the center of it all, on the blood soaked savanna stand the rangers.

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The monument outside of KWS headquarters honors the fallen rangers.

Under the blazing sun or in pouring rain, no weekends or holidays, for little pay and high stakes-they are the only real obstacle standing between the poachers and the rhinos.

Often outgunned and outnumbered, each day is war. In Kenya hundreds of rangers have been shot in the last 3 years, and 13 killed.

A recent report from the Kenyan government sited “low morale” as being a huge problem in the bush for the Kenyan Wildlife Service rangers.

Is it any wonder?

Leaving their families for long periods of time, not knowing if they will see them again, often met with distrust and dislike from their own communities, they face death every day.

kws with poached rhino

KWS rangers stand over the carcass of a poached rhino.

What’s life like for a ranger? Here is a Q & A with a 14-year Namibian ranger. (see Unsung Heroes)

Q: What is a typical day on patrol like for you?

“Well its early up….after breakfast of only food in tins we start patrolling to see if we can’t find tracks of animals or poachers…..after we find tracks we follow…..till we get what we want. Sometimes we have to walk hours and lots of km a day to see the Rhinos or any other wildlife. We get to camp at dark and still have to make food, after that we get a few hours of sleep. Then comes night patrol. We have poachers coming at night to shoot the animals so we  have to be alert at all times. We get so tired but we help each other to stay awake.

This goes on for 10 to 15 days in  one area then we move again to the next.”

Q: What determines where you patrol? And how many of you are there at a time?

“We help lodges and farmers that breed wild animals and try to protect them. We have no routine, we go as we think its time or on request of the owners. We also work on the highways; that we do with police or the army. We help with road blocks and patrol with them helping with tracking and so on. We are about 30 guys depending on how much money we can get (as I pay them for their families, and for their supplies). Sometimes its only 6 guys.”

Q: Where does the funding come from?

“We get donations from people and the places where we work also help us with food for the periods.”

Q: It seems you must have a lot to take with you-the essentials for camping equip and food, weapons,etc?

“The weapons are our own, the tents we buy from china shops here. They are cheap but not strong so we have to change them out about every second month or so. We take nothing from nature ….no hunting or fishing for food….we take all with us when we go.”

Q: Do you have a lot of run-ins with poachers?

“Yes. We have a lot of run- ins with poachers….its easy to meet them when you live with them in the bush.”

Q: What’s the most dangerous situation you’ve been in?

“Well in 2005 one of our unit members was killed in a shoot out, but we caught them after 2 days of tracking. We were on highway patrol when we came upon the poachers. They started shooting at us as they tried to drive off….luckily none of us got shot THAT night too.”

Q: What’s the most rewarding situation you’ve had?

“One area in Namibia had a poaching problem for about 3 years…they heard of us and asked for help. We went in with about 12 members. We caught the poachers; they were police and nature conservation members along with the tribe king’s son. That was my best bust ever…..just their faces said it all.”

Q: What do you wish you had to make your job easier, more effective?

“Funds to get better equipment….this will make any job better and easy to do. We would  like to go on horse back doing bush patrols and when we move from one area to another we would like to  have some type of transport to help with the load. It’s nice working by foot but it can drain your body very quickly.”

Q: How does this fit in with married life and family? Is it difficult or do you get used to it?

“Yes it’s not easy on our lives if you have a wife and kids, but my wife understands and she is also into nature. You will never get used to it -being away from home. It’s very hard work..meaning the sun is really hot here, and  animals don’t stay in one place,  you have to follow them to make sure they are safe so its long distance walking.  And at  the same time you have to be alert for danger like wild animals, snakes and poachers. It’s not easy but I think it’s the best job in the world.”

Please help us support the rangers! We NEED them! For every 5 shirts purchased, we will send 1 to a Kenyan ranger. 

Support Rhinos and Rangers

armed guard rhinos

Armed ranger stands over rhinos at Ol Pejeta Consrevancy.

 

 

 

 

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Your Dollars Working for Rhinos

Helping Rhinos & Fight for Rhinos Donation Spending for June

rpa-gyropterIn June we are delighted to provide enough funding to cover 6 months gyrocopter pilot salary to Reserve Protection Agency, totalling £3,300.  The newly launched gyrocopter will cover a number reserve’s in South Africa’s Eastern Cape and experience has shown that having  an ariel presence is a real deterrent to poachers. We hope that this increased ariel presence in the area will help reduce the incidents of poaching as well as provide other key conservation benefits.

fatu-150-pixWe are also delighted to confirm that the funds raised through our adopt a rhino scheme for the first half of 2014 total £2,500.  This is amount is now on its way to Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya and will be used to fund additional training for Ol Pejeta’s Head of Armed teams, including a 3 week visit to Kruger National Park to spend time with their Special Operations team.  This is a great example of different organisations working together for the good of the rhinos, and strategy we are very keen to support.  Help us to keep supporting Ol Pejeta by adopting a rhino today – simply click here.

black-mamba-trainingIn June we also were able to provide £900 to one of the Balule reserves in Limpopo, South Africa.  This funding will provide 12 months food the the Black Mambas anti-poaching team.  The Balule area, adjacent to the Kruger National Park is and forms part of the Greater Kruger Park.  It is an area target by poachers due to the overall rhino population, sheer vastness of the area and its proximity to the Mozambique border.  We hope this donation will help keep the key anti-poaching unit in place for the next 12 months at a minimum.

game_reserves_united_logoWe were very pleased to be able to continue to support Game Reserves United this quarter with a donation of £1,600.  Watch this space for details on how the funds will be used by GRU

 

helen-webAnd finally, thanks to a grant from Paradise Wildlife Park, we were able to provide£1,000 to researcher Caroline Rees in Botswana.  Caroline is researching how 6 rhinos adapt to being translocated from South Africa to Botswana.  This is vital research as there are plans to translocate a further 100 rhinos over the coming months and knowing how they will adapt is key to the success of the translocation.  Find out more about Caroline’s research here

Please help us continue our work! We can’t do it without you. Donate today.

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Bear Grylls Helps Rhinos

We are delighted to welcome Bear Grylls to the Helping Rhinos Team as our newest Patron.

bear and rhino

Bear will be well known to many of our supporters as the TV personality famous around the world for his survival and outdoor adventure programmes.  On joining the Helping Rhinos team Bear commented:

“Helping Rhinos is a dynamic young organisation that I feel so proud to be Patron of.  The small team at the UK registered charity are working incredibly hard to raise international awareness and funds to help stop the shocking poaching crisis we find ourselves in.  In order to achieve this Helping Rhinos work with a number of different organisations around the world to both protect the rhinos and to stop the demand for rhino horn.

With Bear on board we are sure we can continue with our aims of helping to bring the rhino poaching crisis to an end and look forward to enjoying rhinos in their natural habitat for generations to come.

Please help Helping Rhinos and Fight for Rhinos to make this a safe world for rhinos again. Your donations are crucial to success.

 

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Ol Pejeta Conservancy: a Special Place for Rhino

What’s special about Ol Pejeta?

Besides the fact they are East Africa’s largest black rhino sanctuary, they are also home to the only 4 remaining northern white rhinos in the world.

four northerns 2

The remaining Northern White Rhinos are under constant armed guards.

Covering more than 350 square kilometres in Kenya, Ol Pejeta is home to many animals. The conservancy plays a vital role in the conservation of a number of other endangered species, including: Grevy’s zebra, lions, cheetahs, leopards, African hunting dogs, and elephants, as well.

Through Helping Rhinos and Fight for Rhinos, your donations will help maintain a safe and natural habitat for the rhinos of Ol Pejeta.

By working together we can stop rhino poaching and make sure that we save the rhino for future generations to enjoy.

Please go to the DONATE button on the left of the page or see banking details in How We Help at the top of the page. Every little bit is helpful.

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Following Your Heart Down a Bumpy Road

Life is nothing if not unpredictable. Two years ago, I was dreaming of Africa and mourning the loss of rhinos to poaching. It broke my heart endlessly to the point I would lay awake in bed thinking of the pain and injustice of it all.

This pain grew into rage, and this spark turned me onto the road of Fight for Rhinos. I decided in order to sleep at night, to look myself in the mirror, I could not ignore the passion within me to “do something”.

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Black rhino @ Ol’Pejeta Conservancy

What began as a blog to get things off my chest and raise some awareness, has turned into the start of a non-profit. The one thing I wholly believe a successful non-profit should be, is transparent. It’s hard, if not impossible to know who’s legitimate,  with not only your money, but your trust. So in the spirit of transparency, here is where Fight for Rhinos stands…

In October I was fortunate enough to travel to Kenya. I saw firsthand the beauty, harshness and magic of its wildlife, and met fantastic people. Visiting with Ol’Pejeta and seeing my first rhino in the bush was an experience I will never forget. This brought it all home to me, empowering me and solidifying my determination.

Tisha Maasai

Maasai in Amboseli

We have joined forces with the UK-based, Helping Rhinos. The founder, Simon Jones, and I share many beliefs. Most importantly: we believe unity is the best way to go. The more all of us working together, the easier and quicker we can help our rhinos. We are always open to new groups, and ideas! We also stand firm on our belief of No-trade in rhino horn.

In addition to collaborating with HR, Fight for Rhinos is incorporated as an official business in the US. We have filed the dreaded IRS paperwork, along with the fees to be recognized as a non-profit and therefore be tax-deductible, giving business’ the opportunity to donate, and write it off. VERY KEY in obtaining most funding.

Now we play the waiting game. Within 3-6 months, we will have the “magic number” that allows the corporations to “write it off”.

On a personal note, we have just sold our home in the US. (another dreaded paperwork, and waiting game). We will be downsizing, saving to return to Kenya, and possibly South Africa as well. Hoping to get my “hands dirty” and get down to business on more intense levels, like our “big brother” organization Helping Rhinos has done.

Funny-I thought once I’d gone to Africa, my lifelong dream would be fulfilled. But it’s only just beginning.

Thank you for following. Your presence and comments keep me going, knowing there are others invested in this war who want our rhinos to win! If you have questions or suggestions, I would love to hear from you! Email me at fightforrhinos@gmail.com.

And as always, if you are able to help in any way, please donate.

Help Us to Help Them

 

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