Posts Tagged With: Ol Pejeta Conservancy

World Rhino Day: Support the Black Rhino


In the last 50 years black rhinos have declined by 97%

                          Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty

To put it in perspective: If 97% of the human population were wiped out, only Australia and Brazil would be left.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of conservation groups, there are approximately 4000-5000 black rhinos left.

You can be a part of that effort. Your donation helps us support the canine APU’s that protect rhinos in Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. 

Please go to Paypal to make a monthly or one time donation.

Categories: Making a Difference, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baby rhino gives Sudan new lease on life

The baby southern white rhino was abandoned by mom and found by the Ol Pejeta team when he was only 2 weeks old. Very sick and barely alive, he has made an amazing recovery with the help of caretakers.

Named Ringo, after rhino advocate Ringo Starr, he has been introduced to Sudan, the last male northern white rhino on the planet. The two make quite the pair. Click below to watch more:

ringo rhino opc

 Photo By: Camilla Le May Photography

Categories: Rhino Ramblings, Rhino Spotlight | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ranger Heroes: Gideon

Rangers are on the front line every day protecting our wildlife. Dedication is an understatement, as they pour 100% of their time and effort into guarding rhinos, ensuring safety for tourists and helping to keep daily life at Ol Pejeta running smoothly.

Gideon OPC

Gideon at Ol Pejeta


Name: Gideon

Age: 26 years old

Location: Ol Pejeta Conservancy

What has been your most rewarding OR most difficult moment as a ranger?

It is a hard time when the moon is full.

How much do you work?

I work 84 hours a week. I have 6 days off a month.

Where would you like to travel someday?


rangers at opc training 1

Rangers at OPC undergo regular training to keep them up to date on techniques of security and wildlife monitoring. Photo: OPC

What is your favorite meal?


What do you wish you had to fight poachers?

More arms, good vehicles and to boost security.

What do your family/friends/significant other think of your profession? 

They appreciate what I do, but they worry too.


Gideon with gun

Gideon – always ready, always watching.


OPC rhino by safaribookings

OPC is integral to the survival of rhinos, they are the largest black rhino sanctuary in east Africa.



Categories: Ranger Heroes, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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.

Categories: Making a Difference, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Categories: Making a Difference | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rhino Girl On Safari!

I’m in Kenya! Looking forward to sharing my adventures with you and hopefully lots of photos.

on safari

In the meantime, here’s a bit about the where I’ll be…

Samburu National Reserve,

Samburu Reserve

Located on the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro River, the Samburu Reserve was one of the places in which Elsa the famous lioness was raised by Joy and George Adamson. It is also home to Kamunyak, the lioness famous for adopting oryx calves.
In addition it is home to all three big cats, elephants, hippo and buffalo, among others.

lake naivasha

Lake Naivasha

Part of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake west of Nairobi. The name means “rough water”, due to the storms that can suddenly arise in the area. It is at the highest elevation in the Valley.
There are a variety of wildlife here, including 400 species of birds and a large population of hippo.

masai mara game reserve 2

Masai Mara game reserve

Covering 1500 sq km, the Masai Mara is primarily open grassland, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kenya. There are 95 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles, and a variety of birds. Of course, the “Big Five” (elephant, rhino, leopard, buffalo and lion) are among them all.
The Great Migration is a monumental wildlife event to behold on the Mara from July through October.

black rhinos ol pejeta

Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Ol Pejeta-the place I’m especially excited about-is East Africa’s largest black rhino sanctuary. This is also the home of the only four surviving northern white rhinos on the planet! These people do amazing work in the conservation of wildlife and outreach to the community.
In addition, it is home to a population of chimpanzees.

amboseli national park

Amboseli National Park

Spreading over both Kenya and Tanzania, the Amboseli National Park is well-known for elephant viewing. Mt. Kiliminjaro and the “Big 5” can be seen here as well.

More to come…when I’m back!

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Combating Rhino Poaching

Taken from Elizabeth Gordon via The Huffington Post
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Rhino horn is now more expensive (by weight) than gold or cocaine and as a result rhino poaching is reaching epidemic proportions. The number of rhino’s lost to poaching in South Africa climbed from 300 in 2010 to 668 in 2012! 232 rhinos have already been killed in 2013. And these numbers only represent South Africa! Rhino poaching is on the rise in East Africa as well.

2013-04-24-Poaching_headline_Jan_2013AfricanWildlifeFdn_Resize.jpgThere has been a lot of recent coverage of the increase in poaching of both rhinos and elephants (from the BBC to the New York Times to National Geographic) but as far as I’m concerned there can’t be too much attention on this issue, so here’s my contribution.

Today I want to talk about the Rhino Rescue Project (RRP), which is spear-heading a new and unique effort to prevent poaching in reserves around Kruger National Park in South Africa.

The idea is essentially to poison the horn to eliminate the its value

In addition to its ornamental value, much of the rhino horn that is sold illegally is consumed. RRP realized that if they could make the horn indigestible it would decrease the demand, so they decided to infuse into the wild rhino horns the same ectoparasiticide used to control ecto-parasites like ticks in captive rhinos, effectively making the horn toxic.

After some additional research and consultation they decided to add an indelible dye to the infusion, similar to products used in the banking industry to prevent counterfeiting. The dye is visible on an x-ray scanner even when ground to a fine powder so airport security checkpoints can pick up the presence of a treated horn whether the horn is intact or in powder form.

2013-04-24-HornInfusionResize.jpgPhoto of the Horn Infusion Process by Dylan Brandt for SingitaThe combination of the dye and the ecoparasiticides are intended to destroy the monetary value of the horn and discourage poaching with little to no impact on the rhino. Comprehensive testing is ongoing to ensure that the animals have not been harmed by the treatment. The acaracide selected is even one that is “Ox Pecker-friendly” (a bird commonly found “pecking” rhinos looking for ticks) to ensure little or no damage to other animals and organisms sharing the rhino’s habitat. It is expected that the treatment will remain effective for three to four years before re-administration is required. In addition to the treatment and dye, a DNA sample is collected and added to a national database to aid in prosecutions of poachers.

The first large scale horn infusions recently began in the Sabi Sand Reserve, west of Kruger National Park. Over 100 rhino have been treated and there have been zero losses.

2013-04-24-RRPinSabiSandsResize.jpgHorn Infusion in the Sabi Sands, Photo by Dylan Brandt, SingitaThere has been speculation and some outcry that the program’s aim is to poison rhino horn consumers.

In RRP’s efforts to clarify their position they have pointed out that; 1) the ecoparasiticides are toxic but not lethal to humans and 2) central to the program’s success is the extensive publicity surrounding the effort.

If the rhinos in a given reserve have been treated, it is widely publicized with 200+ signposts around the reserve’s perimeter and, if a treated rhino is killed, the indelible dye is clearly visible inside the horn to indicate that the horn had been tampered with. RRP also strongly advocates involving as many reserve staff as possible in the horn treatment process so that word about the treatment spreads. All of properties and reserves in the Sabi Sands who have participated in the program are also posting extensively on social media.

2013-04-24-InfusionpublicationResize.jpgSigns posted to warn that horns have been treated from Rhino Rescue ProjectRRP’s hope is that the publicity prevents the rhino’s being poached in the first place and that treated rhino’s will be left alone, their horns intact. From RRP’s perspective every treated horn that enters the market means another rhino has died and the program has failed that animal.

This effort really interested me not only because it involves close cooperation with many of the properties I work with, but also because it is an innovative and proactive solution to rhino poaching that is cost-effective for reserves with small rhino populations that do not have the resources to provide each rhino with an armed guard.

Other Anti-Poaching Efforts

This is by no means the only approach to preventing rhino poaching going on in Africa. Other tactics include traditional methods like 24/7 armed guards and rhino relocation (for example from the Solio and Lewa Conservancies in Kenya and Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa) to more innovative tactics such as the horn infusion described above and East Africa’s first unmanned drone patrolling Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

2013-04-24-AnnandSteveToonNorthernWhiteRhinoOlPejetaConservancy_Resize.jpgNorthern White Rhino with armed guard in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Photo by Ann and Steve ToonThere is also an on-going debate over the creation of a legal market for horn harvested from farmed rhino. Because rhino horn is made of compressed keratin (similar to fingernails and human hair) it can be trimmed periodically. Each rhino can produce about a kilo of horn per year and supporters argue that harvested horn could increase volume enough to drive down the price of illegal horns and reduce poaching. They point to the legal trade in farmed crocodile skins as an example of how legal trade can drive conservation.

Opponents argue the harvest procedure is invasive and harmful to the rhino and that the trade is driven by excessive demand not lack of supply and that a legal trade would not discourage poaching. They point to examples including ivory and abalone where criminal markets flourish alongside the legal one and encourage poaching. Mary Rice, executive director of the Environmental Investigation Agency points to the spike in illegal ivory sales in China after it legally bought stockpiles of ivory from Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe in 2008. (Find more about the farming debate here)

Whatever the end result of the debate, a variety of solutions clearly need to be explored because if the pace of poaching continues to accelerate, Africa’s rhino could be extinct in the wild in just 20 years! Some species including the Western Black Rhino are already gone.

Please check RHINO RESCUE PROJECT for information and ways to support them in their endeavors.

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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