Posts Tagged With: inspiration

The Power of One Voice

rhino saving boy

THIS boy saved the life of a rhino.

While on holiday, while his parents were napping, Luke grabbed his camera and spent the afternoon watching out for birds and animals coming to drink from the pan near their bush camp.

“We were enjoying an afternoon nap when Luke woke us up: ‘Dad, Mom … come quickly. There is a rhino with a snare around it’s foot. We have to help it!’”

Then he showed them close-up pictures he had taken of the rhino’s badly injured front leg.

Just 9 years old, Luke asked his parents to call the camp and report the injury. They did. Although helpful, there was no ‘instant’ response. Not satisfied, he insisted they do more. So his father loaded a picture of the wounded animal to his cellphone and sent it via WhatsApp to the rangers.

“It turned out that they were busy dealing with snare injuries to other animals, but when they saw the WhatsApp picture they arrived within 10 or 15 minutes.”

The wounded rhino was immoblized and treated. If it wasn’t for Luke, the rhino would have suffered a slow death from the snare. The vet who treated the injured bull, said the injury had been caught just in time, before the snare cut the rhino’s tendons.

rhino saving boy 2

Rangers treating injured rhino bull


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

Don’t Stop Believing

 Often times it’s easy to look around and feel overwhelmed at the poachings, the lack of political action, the constant inquiry of rhino stats. But it’s easy to miss what is quietly going on around us. Fight for Rhinos, and other reputable organizations have been working tirelessly on making a change. It’s not instant, it’s not always immediately obvious, and sometimes the steps seem small. But the work being done in the background will amount to larger things. 

Have hope and know there are those of us here working 24/7 on protecting our rhinos, and elephants. Together, we ARE making a difference.


jane goodallWords of Hope from Jane: “It is easy to be overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness as we look around the world. We are losing species at a terrible rate, the balance of nature is disturbed, and we are destroying our beautiful planet. We have fear about water supplies, where future energy will come from – and most recently the developed world has been mired in an economic crisis. But in spite of all this I do have hope. And my hope is based on four factors.

The Human Brain
Firstly, we have at last begun to understand and face up to the problems that threaten us and the survival of life on Earth as we know it. Surely we can use our problem-solving abilities, our brains, to find ways to live in harmony with nature. Many companies have begun “greening” their operations, and millions of people worldwide are beginning to realize that each of us has a responsibility to the environment and our descendants. Everywhere I go, I see people making wiser choices, and more responsible ones.

The Indomitable Human Spirit
My second reason for hope lies in the indomitable nature of the human spirit. There are so many people who have dreamed seemingly unattainable dreams and, because they never gave up, achieved their goals against all the odds, or blazed a path along which others could follow. The recent presidential election in the U.S. is one example. As I travel around the world I meet so many incredible and amazing human beings. They inspire me. They inspire those around them.

The Resilience of Nature
My third reason for hope is the incredible resilience of nature. I have visited Nagasaki, site of the second atomic bomb that ended World War II. Scientists had predicted that nothing could grow there for at least 30 years. But, amazingly, greenery grew very quickly. One sapling actually managed to survive the bombing, and today it is a large tree, with great cracks and fissures, all black inside; but that tree still produces leaves. I carry one of those leaves with me as a powerful symbol of hope. I have seen such renewals time and again, including animal species brought back from the brink of extinction.

The Determination of Young People
My final reason for hope lies in the tremendous energy, enthusiasm and commitment of young people around the world. As they find out about the environmental and social problems that are now part of their heritage, they want to right the wrongs. Of course they do — they have a vested interest in this, for it will be their world tomorrow. They will be moving into leadership positions, into the workforce, becoming parents themselves. Young people, when informed and empowered, when they realize that what they do truly makes a difference, can indeed change the world. We should never underestimate the power of determined young people.

I meet many young people with shining eyes who want to tell Dr. Jane what they’ve been doing, how they are making a difference in their communities. Whether it’s something simple like recycling or collecting trash, something that requires a lot of effort, like restoring a wetland or a prairie, or whether it’s raising money for the local dog shelter, they are a continual source of inspiration. My greatest reason for hope is the spirit and determination of young people, once they know what the problems are and have the tools to take action.

So let’s move forward in this new millennium with hope, for without it all we can do is eat and drink the last of our resources as we watch our planet slowly die. Let’s have faith in ourselves, in our intellect, in our staunch spirit and in our young people. And let’s do the work that needs to be done, with love and compassion.”

–Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE

northern white with rainbow

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Each Journey Begins with that First Step

“Fate rarely calls on us at a time of our choosing…”

After years of outrage over rhino poaching, one day after a teary outburst at the injustice of it all, someone suggested “Why don’t you start a blog?  It’ll at least give you a way to get your feelings out.” A blog? Am I a blogger? What do I say?

After stumbling through the first couple of posts, something clicked.  I wrote, I researched, I advocated…  yet, it wasn’t quite enough.

Then came the suggestion:  “Have you ever thought of starting a non-profit?”

Blogging’s one thing, but a charity? The idea rolled around in my head for a bit (actually violently kicked and screamed through my brain.)  But was there really a choice? I had to do more.

Then came the unexpected trip to Kenya, meeting with Ol Pejeta Conservancy, and my first wild rhino encounter…

Tisha OPC rhino 1

Parked along the dirt road, the guide pointed him out; squinting and shielding my eyes from the sun, I could barely make out a rear leg and tail. My heart raced, but if only he were closer.. He seemed to read my mind (or so I like to think). He suddenly jerked his head up out of the bush, turned our way ,took a couple of steps, then started charging toward us. About 60 feet from us, he stopped.

Perfection! I was filled with pure joy. He stood with his head tilted,ears turning this way and that like little satellite dishes, taking us in; and I did the same; every wrinkle, the curl of his lip, the look in his eye-sketched into my memory. After what seemed an eternity, somehow satisfied, he turned and jogged back toward where he came.

Tisha OPC rhino 2

It was from that moment, I knew there was no turning back. The most gentle, yet feisty, amazing animals who are being killed for nothing. That rhino, every rhino is part of our world, and needs to be here. And I will not stop fighting for them. I will not give in or give up.

After making personal life decisions; selling the house, cashing in my 401K, switching jobs, everything I do centers around saving rhinos; whatever it takes to commit the most time and finances. Fight for Rhinos is MY lifeline.

Each waking moment is spent wracking my brain, trying to come up with two things: how to stop the poaching , and how to make the world wake up and take notice to help us do it.


When someone finds out I run a “non-profit”, they excitedly ask “Oh! What for?” and I respond ” to protect our rhinos and secure a future for them.” To which I often get a puzzled look and “What?”

It means we have a lot of work to do. Many people have no idea there’s a war going on. A war not just for rhinos, but for our wildlife. Somehow in a small way, I am a part of that now, just as many of you are.

Everyone has their purpose. We are not here by accident. Having spent restless days and nights, wandering through life, I have found mine. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and ever will do. Each week is a rollercoaster; highs and lows, elation to heartbreak. But I’ve committed my life 100% to the cause, to their survival. However I can help, each rhino, each dollar made toward keeping another one safe, is a victory. It’s what I live for.

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Rhino Blessings

Thanksgiving is a great reminder for us to count our blessings.

I am thankful for the opportunity to do what I can to help rhinos, and extraordinarily grateful to rangers, vet staff, advocates and rhino lovers everywhere who share the same passion.

Let us not fret over the work yet to be done, but be grateful for what we have done and the opportunity to be able to do more.

Endelea Kupigana my friends!

Gertje and Lammie 3

Gertje (Little G) and his buddy Lammie (via Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center)

Shaki Nyani nap

Little Shaka and Nyani napping (via the Rhino Orphanage)

Thandi via Kariega Game Reserve

Thandi via Kariega Game Reserve

breaking news

Shanu and babe

Here is the latest miracle! This morning at 3:35am, Imire Rhino and Wildlife Conservation proudly announced Shanu giving birth to a healthy baby girl! This is the first birth here since their 2007 poaching tragedy.











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“Think Big, Start Small, Act Now”

Alyssas rhino drawing

Drawing by Alyssa

..That is the sign hanging over General Jooste’s desk in his office in SANParks. Watching a  rhino take its final breaths, after having it’s back broken and it’s horn hacked off by poachers, prompted Jooste to begin his current position overseeing anti-poaching efforts in Kruger.

The bloody struggle, demands and frustration he, and everyone on the ground must bear witness to daily is unimaginable. Yet, he stands firm. He continues to do what he can, fulfilling his part in the war.

So what can we do? Most of us aren’t decorated military generals, or park rangers. But paying heed to his motto – we can ALL do something.

Mike & Sam

Mike & Sam

Mike and Sam, a UK couple were married in May of 2014. Both having grown up in South Africa, their love of the bush, and heartbreak over the escalation in rhino poaching, they asked that in lieu of wedding gifts, people contribute money to be donated to rhino conservation. From there, they’ve started to ask other couples to continue doing the same. Thus, Wedding Gifts for Rhinos was born.

Alyssa is a 7-year-old girl who was brought to tears when she heard of our rhinos being killed. With the help of mom and dad, she sells chocolates, printed with a picture she drew of a rhino. Since then, she has branched out, selling knitted rhinos, stickers, etc. The money she gets is being saved toward her end goal of buying a sniffer dog for anti-poaching efforts at SANParks. She has already raised over R15000 in 2 months.

Alyssa with knitted rhinos

Alyssa with the adults who help make her knitted rhinos.



Sam is a certified guide in Southern Africa whose love of rhinos inspired him to do the 500km Rhino Awareness Walk. Moved by his grandfather’s words “none of us inherited our wildlife from our grandparents, but it is loaned to us by our children”, he is doing what he can – walking to raise funds and awareness in his community toward wildlife poaching.

In 2012, Tracy, the owner of an arts and crafts store in South Africa, was moved to do something after she saw the poaching of Thandi and Themba. She began selling “rhino tears”, necklaces she designed to raise funds to fight poaching. Her original goal of selling 20, has gone beyond 700 necklaces worldwide.



Selling lemonade, losing weight, growing a beard…people old and young, no different from you and I have found ways to do what they can to help our rhinos.

Don’t feel helpless! Join us and do something today! Sign petitions, donate, volunteer, join the global march for elephants and rhinos in your city, sell artwork…use your talent, your time…do what you can.

Think Big..Start Small..Act NOW!





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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”.


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

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

Help Us to Help Them


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The Joy of Rhino

 Happy Holidays from Fight for Rhinos!

black rhino mom and babyEnjoy the best Christmas carol there is-the music of the rhino!


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Hope Floats

Christmas is a time to believe in miracles; a time of hope, faith and love. Please carry that with you as you go forth and spread the word about the war on poaching. Rhinos and elephants are poached at an alarming rate (2 a day for rhinos and 80 a day for elephants), and their future is uncertain. But, they are still here. And while they fight to survive, we must fight for them.

If little Ntombi had the courage to fight the poachers away from her mom, then the determination to fight for survival after those same poachers turned on her with machete attacks, who are we not to keep fighting for her? (Ntombi’s story)

Karen Trendler with Ntombi at the Rhino Orphanage.

Little Kiliguni, the orphan elephant, found dehydrated , wandering alone through the savanna after his mother was poached, tail bitten off, and chunks taken out of his ears from the hyenas who came to feast on his mother’s poached body. He was resilient! Joining the other orphans, forming new familial bonds, and overcoming the odds. Who are we not to take on that spirit and soldier on for others like him? (Kilanguni’s story)

kilanguni ele bottle

Kilanguni being bottle fed at Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

And the most phenomenal miracle of all: Miss Thandi. Poached, her face hacked open, blood loss, yet still trying to stand, telling us she wasn’t done yet. Treated again and again and again for her wounds, now pregnant! Fighting to survive and to carry on, now gifting the world with another life. How dare anyone give up hope now? If Thandi can carry on, have the will, the strength to persevere, we MUST persevere as well. (Thandi’s story)

thandi nov 2013

Thandi alive and well, 3 months pregnant.

These animals fought for their lives, they are sending us the message they want and need to carry on. We must balance the scales, and help them not just to survive, but to thrive. The dream of seeing a crash of rhino in the wild or a giant heard of elephants marching through the savana-it can come true. It will if we unite and work toward this.

Do not give up.

To donate to Helping Rhinos/Fight for Rhinos, please go to the donations page on the top or click on one of the donations buttons.

Categories: Good News, Rhino Ramblings, Rhino Spotlight | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Be a Hummingbird

Fantastic message!

Every little bit helps-please donate.

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