Posts Tagged With: Limpopo

Urgent! Tragedy Strikes Rhino Orphanage

29 Saturday June- This just in from the Rhino Orphanage:

Rhino Mike butchered

A young rhino bought to act as a surrogate parent to orphaned babies has been shot and killed and his horn removed while a young female has been shot and wounded.
The five-year-old bull white rhino named Mike was killed at Legend Golf & Safari Resort in Limpopo while his fellow free-ranging surrogate parent Nana is being treated for gunshot wounds. Her condition is being assessed by specialists.
The resort is also home to The Rhino Orphanage, a centre which forms a vital part of the EWT Rhino Response Strategy, which was not breached or attacked.
Mike was donated by suppliers to health company Netcare to help raise orphans of the war being waged on South Africa’s rhino population.rhino with karen at orphan
The resort and The Rhino Orphanage were on a full security alert and now ADDITIONAL measures are being taken to protect the orphans and the staff on site.
A specialist emergency armed response team has been deployed and will remain at the site while whatever ADDITIONAL security measures deemed necessary are implemented.
Karen Trendler coordinates the Rhino Response Strategy and manages The Rhino Orphanage and says while staff are shocked and horrified, Mike’s death has acted as an inspiration to fight the battle even more vigorously. And she said everything possible is being done to help Nana.
She said: “We were all so fond of Mike and his death is a horrific tragedy. But we will not bow to this slaughter and have taken yet more action to try with all our power to protect the little ones and the staff who do such amazing work caring for them.rhino with bottle
“The orphans are all safe and well as are the staff and The Orphanage was not breached. People must realise that this is a real war where the bad guys will do all they can in the name of greed and money. No animal is 100% safe but people should know we are doing everything in our power to preserve and protect the orphans. And the medical teams treating Nana are as good as it gets.”
The specialist emergency armed response team now stationed at the resort have access to air support in the form of the resort helicopter which has been made available for daily patrol flights and specialist anti-poaching operations.
This has been done in the past but operations have been intensified at the direction of Legend Lodges Hotels & Resort CEO Peet Cilliers will the full support of Managing Director Mart Cilliers.
Mr Cilliers said: “We are all horrified at this barbaric act and Mart and myself have put the full resource of the resort at the disposal of the experts who are doing an amazing job in attempting to battle the poachers and help the orphans. Our immediate response includes use of the helicopter and a variety of other measures. Like Karen and her team we are determined that we will not be shaken from our course of rehabilitating and saving orphaned rhinos despite this tragic incident.”
Meanwhile, specialist investigators are probing how the poachers attacked the rhino and are assisting the police and other agencies.
Karen Trendler said Mike’s death shows the scale of the problem and the need for international intervention. She said: “We know this horrific slaughter is funding international terrorism – that’s how serious this is. But our work will continue to try and save the species.
“The numbers are shocking and The Rhino Orphanage is still gearing up for an influx of the victims of this tragedy. Calves are the neglected victims – orphaned, traumatised and often frequently injured they need intensive and specialised care. Calves remain with the mothers for three years and sometimes more – we need to treat the trauma and injuries and provide the maternal care that has been brutally denied by the poachers. The calves need amazing amounts of dedicated, specialist care – and that’s why we created The Rhino Orphanage.
“We have specially trained carers, specialist facilities, and some amazing supporters who make our work possible. Now more than ever we are working with our friends to continue what we started.”
The orphanage has specialist facilities to care for these often extremely young and badly injured creatures, giving the babies the very best chance of one day returning to the wild where they belong.
It is further supported by a range of partners including FNB Investment Products, New Holland, Lafarge and others.

This comes after the good news of the orphanage finally receiving a rhino ambulance to help with transporting and treating the orphaned calves from the point of location where the mothers are poached.rhino amb

Somehow this attack seems so much more personal and viscious, the poachers invading the refuge where the babies only chance of survival lies.

If any of you are able to make a donation, now would be a very good time.

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Kruger Park: the Rhino Poaching Hotspot

There have been  227 rhinos poached already in 2013. Of those, 146 have been in Kruger National Park.

Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserve in Africa. Located  in eastern South Africa, it is home to all of the Big 5 game (rhinos, elephants, lions, buffalo, and leopard).

To combat poaching the Park
*employs 650 anti-poaching unit rangers
*has borrowed 2 drones
*utilizes 2 helicopters
*has automated movement sensors along Mozambique
*has a specialized canine unit

Yet with 9 main gates in a 7580 sq mi area, which is an area slightly smaller than New Jersey, poaching is rampant. They are losing more rhino than any other location in Africa; an average of 2 a day in the Park.

kruger mapThe Park is surrounded by countries in which poverty and unemployment are both endemic. Mozambique  is one of the poorest and most underdeveloped countries with 59% of the people living below the poverty line; while Zimbabwe, suffering from a shrinking economy and hyper inflation, has the world’s largest unemployment rate at 95%, and 80%  living below  poverty. Limpopo is fairing only slightly better, but is still one of the poorest areas in South Africa, especially in rural areas.

So is it any wonder the rhino are being stalked like a starving lion after a gazelle? With one horn worth a few hundred (just a fraction of the market value) to the poacher, he can feed his family and then some. That one rhino life is worth less than its horn to them.

Over the last 5 years, authorities have killed 279 Mozambicans involved in illegal rhino hunting. 300 more were detained for poaching during that time. For the Mozambique government its a monstrous problem, especially because of the involvement of members of its own defense and security forces.

Tragically for the rhino, where it lives is why it’s being killed. Economics. Poor men committing the murder out of necessity to fuel the greed of the middle man (criminal syndicate) to supply the ignorant (Asian market); the perfect storm that will spell the extinction of the species if we cannot stop it.

2 rhinos

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