Rhino News!

Rhino News!

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Thank you to everyone to donated in our IAPF campaign. We raised over $1000 which will be donated to the organisation in the next few weeks. Yay!!


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We have sent over our first IAPF Green Army recruit, Jodie Cooper from Western Australia. We look forward to following her journey and wish her all the best!

The West News reports:

Pilbara mother has traded high-vis for khaki this week after heading to Zimbabwe to help in the war against rhino poaching.

45-year-old mother of one Jodie Cooper has lived in Karratha for five years and is a volunteer for the International Anti Poaching Foundation’s Green Army.

Ms Cooper said she became interested in the plight of African rhinos about 18 months ago and decided she had to take action.

“I will spend two weeks just outside of Victoria Falls on a reserve working alongside African rangers learning about rhinos and other wildlife and assisting them in their efforts in the war against poaching,” she said.

“I will be involved in foot patrols up to 15km per day in weather conditions very similar to Karratha this time of year.

“While I will not be involved in any combat duties, these rangers are on the frontline and interactions with wildlife and poachers is a real possibility.”

Ms Cooper established Resources for Rhinos with a group of friends this year, a group for people from the resources industry to raise awareness of the threat of extinction faced by rhinos because of poaching.


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The killings aren’t stopping! Early this month in Pilansberg National Park, a pregnant mother rhino and her calf were shot and killed for their horns. The horns were left intact as the poachers fled the scene when they heard a game vehicle approaching.

In the Eastern Cape an entire CRASH was wiped out in 3 weeks in 2 different attacks. The owner of the reserve is devastated having lost his entire rhino population.

In the Hoedspruit area another 5 were killed, this breaks our hearts as this is where we grew up and do our rhino conservation tours.


Awesome image from our friends at @singita_ 👏

Here are some basic facts from SAVE AFRICAN RHINO:

  • The paoching gang of four will received USD 10,000 for the killing
  • The person who pays the gang will sell the horns for USD 6000 per kg. With about 4Kg per rhino.
  • Sometimes within hours the horns are on a flight to the far east, thanks to the corrupt officials along the way.
  • The end selling price, mainly to wealthy Vietnamese businessmen is upward of USD $65,000 per kg.

   

Stats for the year so far:

700 rhino poached in South Africa and 19 in Zimbabwe!


Please help us by making people aware of what is happening to these creatures!! Awareness and media attention is what we need.

World rhino day

World rhino day

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On the 22nd September it was World Rhino Day. A day for the rhinos. Organisations around the world got their message out and all of them were along the lines of LEAVE OUR RHINO ALONE and that it is everyone’s responsibility to look after these creatures. I hope awareness of rhino poaching is spread far and wide.


IAPF

Damien Mander from the IAPF posted a video that said “The rhino is a keystone species. It is the hardest animal to protect on this planet. It is the animal that poachers are willing to go to the greatest lengths to kill. When we develop and implement strategies that look after rhino, everything else in that ecosystem is being looked after.”

Watch the full video below.

The IAPF is an organization we support as they are on the ground fighting the war. They are at risk daily and do it all to save these amazing creatures. We need to help them help the rhino!


How can you help??

#1 DONATE:

You can donate here: https://give.everydayhero.com/au/safarifrankconservation

#2 BUY COFFEE AND MUGS:

You can buy the best coffee ever- RhinoHorn Coffee- funds are donated to the IAPF. http://rhinohorncoffee.com/

#3 VOLUNTEER WITH THE IAPF

By signing up for the IAPF’s Green Army, you’ll be joining us here on the frontline of conservation. Members will be integrated into the lifestyle of an anti-poaching ranger.

This means heading out on patrols with our rangers, checking for snares and ensuring the integrity of the property is kept. As custodians of number of black rhino this is a task we don’t take lightly.  During patrols you’ll learn bushcraft, botany and tracking with our experienced scouts whilst getting up close and personal with Africa’s wildlife.

In line with experiencing a ranger’s life, the camp, although comfortable, is a working camp. Members are required to pull their own weight with daily duties and tasks.

It’s hard work, but you’ll be able to say that you have helped us conserve some of Africa’s most pristine wilderness and wildlife. Many people come armed with a wealth of skills and experience while all others have is a strong passion for doing what’s right: protecting wildlife.

The Green Army initiative is an important means of funding for the IAPF, meaning we do charge for the experience but the cost is treated 100% as a donation towards the cause. It enables us to maintain our training free of charge for rangers working in protected and volatile areas. This is the only way we have a chance at recruiting, training and maintaining the highest skilled rangers to protect our wildlife and wilderness.

Email us at info@safarifrank.com for more info

Please help us by spreading the world about rhino poaching!!

 


Rhino Horn Auction Goes Live!

Rhino Horn Auction Goes Live!

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As we go live with the first auction of rhino horn I think we are all a bit scared! What will happen? How can this happen?

A very controversial and real issue! Today, on the 23rd August John Hume, the largest rhino breeder in the world is auctioning off 500kg of rhino horn.

A few rhino conservationists think that legal trade will save the rhino others strongly disagree. What do you think?? Could it work?

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The Rhino Horn Auction website says:

 

"Trade, not aid, will help to save Africa’s rhino.

We firmly believe that legal rhino horn trading is the best way to save the rhino. South Africa has lifted the ban on the domestic trade of the rhino horn, creating the opportunity for valuable rhino horn to be legally auctioned for the first time.

Owning more than 1500 rhinos, John Hume breeds and protects rhinos on his private ranch. His project is a TOPS, Threatened or Protected Species, approved and registered Captive Breeding Operation of White and Black Rhino. He spends over $170 000 every month on security alone, while still covering other expenses, including supplementary feed, veterinary costs and salaries.

Each rhino’s horn is safely and regularly trimmed by a veterinarian and capture team to prevent poachers from harming them. John Hume has more than 6 tons of rhino horn, which he keeps in a secure holding. Now, he is putting some of his rhino horn on auction.

The first legal rhino horn auction in South Africa will commence on 23 August 2017 in the hopes of preventing rhinos being poached for their horns in South Africa and to raise money to further fund the breeding and protection of rhinos."


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John Hume claims these are the benefits: 

  • Increase the rhino population in the country. Especially now that breeders can use the funds from trading the horns to invest in breeding and protecting the species
  • Promote legal trade, as consumers can get a hold of horn in a controlled and legal way
  • Hamper the black market. Even if we attempt to get rid of as many rhino poachers as possible, there remains a never-ending stream of those willing to kill rhinos for illegal trade. By meeting the demand there will be less opportunity for poachers to illegally trade their wares.
  • Provide an alternative innovative, conservation-based solution to the crisis at hand. Heavier consequences have been placed on poachers and illegal traders; however these efforts have definitely not deterred the killing of rhino.
  • Trading rhino horn is a lucrative business. Breeders can humanely trim the horns, which grow back.

The questions we ask and you have to consider include:

  • What if it increases demand for rhino horn? It is a very real possibility.
  • It is known that Vietnam want wild rhino horn and not farmed so will it actually satisfy demand?
  • What if we are just opening more channels so that smuggling out illegal horns is made easier?
  • We just don’t have the number of rhinos left to be able to take such a risk and experiment?

Here is a great article to see it from John Hume’s view and Wildlife Act’s view go is against: https://wildlifeact.com/blog/john-hume-rhino-horn-auction-2017/


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Please tell us your thoughts??

 

 

(Photos and content from Rhino Horn Auction Page)

 

June News- Breaking Point

June News- Breaking Point

21 confirmed poaching incidents within a week! The unconfirmed stats are around the 31 which is probably closer to the true figure. It is very tragic and has been a really difficult time for the people on the ground.

Please send them strength to keep on fighting!


Private game owners are wanting to sell their rhinos

It has hit a breaking point.

One owner in particular lost a rhino cow and her calf recently. After the incident he said,

“I will sell them all. I can’t carry on living like this. I’ve done everything possible to keep them safe. I can’t keep putting my family through this. My kids are suffering and traumatized.” - (Limpopo Rhino Security Group).

These are the emotions of many rhino owners, a feeling of failure towards keeping these animals safe. Many are now reaching their breaking point and wanting to sell their rhinos. However not many people are willing to buy and protect them.

It is a big and very expensive task!


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Our Rhino Notching Experience with the Southern Africa Wildlife College

Our guests gathered at sunrise to put their passion for saving rhinos into action by assisting in a rhino notching exercise. This forms part of Southern African Wildlife College's (SAWC) rhino monitoring and research programme.

Read all about it here:  https://social.shorthand.com/SAWCtweet/j23PRJlxP3/conservation-in-action


People often ask how can I help??

Well firstly by donating! The organisations that are on the ground dealing with poaching incidents on a daily basis rely purely on donations. They need money to care for the rhinos. Donate directly to an organisation you have identified or through our website at:  https://give.everydayhero.com/au/safarifrankconservation

Our donations go to the Southern African Wildlife College who train anti-poaching rangers and dogs. Other organisations we support are the IAPF and Rhino Revolutions Orphanage.

If you don’t have money to donate yourself then raise money through events, bake sales, sponsorships…. Get creative! Every dollar helps!

Often people want to go volunteer and work with the rhino orphans. It is great that people want to help but it isn’t free. A way to raise money to care for the orphans is through volunteer programs where guests pay to go help out for a minimum of 2 weeks.

If you would like to go work at an orphanage like Care For Wild please visit African Conservation Experience. https://www.conservationafrica.net/our-projects/rhino-conservation-projects/


The radar and cameras of the Postcode Meerkat, the park’s latest weapon, can detect gangs operating at night in an area of more than 60 square miles. The authorities hope it will tilt the war in their favour CREDIT: MARTIN FLETCHER

Can modern technology save rhinos from poachers?

Satellites, lie detectors, sniffer dogs, helicopters and seismic sensors: the new hi-tech weapons in Kruger National Park’s war on rhino poaching.

Twelve feet tall, triangular and wrapped in camouflage netting, the solar-powered apparatus supports a powerful camera and infrared laser crowned by a radar transmitter. It has been dubbed the ‘Postcode Meerkat’ – ‘postcode’ because Peace Parks Foundation funded it with £500,000 from the UK People’s Postcode Lottery, and ‘meerkat’ after the creature, which stands upright and swivels its head to survey the surrounding territory.

To see what it sees, we flew on to a nearby ranger station. There, as darkness fell, two operators sat in a trailer before a radar screen showing an area of more than 60 square miles. Every living mammal in that area – and there were an astonishing number – showed up as a blue dot, and left a trail of dots behind it as it moved.

Operators can tell which creatures might be human because people tend to move more purposefully than animals. For confirmation, they click on the latest dot. The Meerkat swiftly focuses on that location and produces a surprisingly clear black-and-white picture of an elephant,buffalo, zebra – or poacher gang.

‘We can tell where the poachers are going, how fast, how many there are, who’s carrying the rifle and who’s got the axe,’ Mark McGill, Kruger’s technical operations manager, explained.

As we watched, the Meerkat spotted three suspects entering Kruger from the east. McGill immediately alerted two ranger patrols, both equipped with radios, semi-automatics and night-vision goggles, that were already on the ground. Over the next hour he positioned one to intercept the gang and the other to cut off its retreat.

Read full article here:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/06/24/can-modern-technology-save-rhinos-poachers/


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May News- Kicking some goals!

May News- Kicking some goals!

RhinoLOVE update!

It has been a busy and exciting month for our rhinoLOVE project! We had two groups of guests attend a rhino conservation week in the Greater Kruger National Park region. Here they spent the week learning about the rhino poaching crisis and assisting in anti-poaching efforts first hand.

During the week the guests did various activities including tracking rhinos on foot, flying in a small anti-poaching aircraft to see how rhino patrols work, paid a visit to organisations caring for rhino orphans, meeting anti-poaching rangers and dogs in training and assisted in a rhino notching procedure.

A rhino notching procedure is where vets dart and sedate a wild rhino, once the rhino is in the correct position they make scientific marking in it’s ear, the vets also collect data in order to build a very important database of the rhino in the area. The ear markings help easily identify the rhino and therefore make it easy to monitor and track it’s movements. A great anti-poaching procedure that ensures the Southern African Wildlife College can keep a close eye on the rhinos in the area and keep them safe! The rhino’s were named Andrea and Aussie!

Thank you to our guests who raised money and were able to fund the trips! You have made a real difference! We would also like to thank Rhino Revolution, Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre and the Southern African Wildlife College for having us.

If you would like to support our project by donating please visit: http://www.safarifrank.com/frank-gesas-scheduled-safaris/

If you are interested in joining our 2018 rhino tours please register your interest here: http://www.safarifrank.com/frank-gesas-scheduled-safaris/


BIG BUST!

FIFTY people arrested for wildlife crime over the past 2 months!

The rhino poaching task team recovered 15 silencers, two pistols, one shotgun and 155 rounds of ammunition.

In the process they recovered 13 rhino horns, two elephant tusks and 19 hunting rifles during ongoing police operations in various parts of the country.

The suspects were aged between 24 and 58 years. “As per standard procedure, the rifles and pistols were sent to the SAPS’s Forensic Science Laboratory in Pretoria for ballistic testing, primarily to determine if they had been used to commit other crimes,” said Naidoo. “The suspects appeared in various courts across the three provinces for charges ranging from the possession of unlicensed firearms, conspiracy to commit crime, the possession of counterfeit goods, illegal hunting, the possession of rhino horns, the possession of protected endangered species and the possession of elephant tasks.”

This is yet another major breakthrough in the fight against rhino poaching!

Two of the men arrested were found in the possession of a firearm, which connected them to more than 60 cases of rhino poaching countrywide. Shocking!

Full article: https://www.all4women.co.za/1113695/news/south-african-news/50-arrested-wildlife-crimes-past-2-months


New Weapon in Anti-Poaching!

A portable, cheap DNA sequencer could become to poachers what a breathalyzer has become to drunk drivers!!

The world’s first pocket-sized DNA sequencer, called the MinION, is exciting genetic researchers worldwide. The British biotech corporation Oxford Nanopore Technologies developed the 87-gram USB module, which can replace almost an entire laboratory. Its name refers to its minimal size, the ions that flow through it, as well as the producing company’s name.

The device is not only more compact than its lab cousins but, with a price tag of about $1,000, also more affordable and faster. It can identify the DNA barcode genes of animals and plants alike in real time, if necessary even in the field. The MinION takes about an hour for the DNA sequencing of a blood stain—a process that usually takes a week in a laboratory.

Thanks to its size and speed, the MiniON is highly coveted by crime-fighting agencies that require proof of DNA as evidence.Continue Reading this Article

This includes the fight against wildlife crime. John Wetton, Co-Director of the Alec Jeffreys Forensic Genomics Unit at the University of Leicester in the UK, can think of numerous scenarios in which poachers and smugglers could be apprehended much more efficiently if the MinION were used: “One of the key questions in wildlife crime is identifying the species of origin of biological traces, whether that be a bloodstain on a suspected elephant or rhino poacher’s knife, whether bushmeat in a market is from a common species or an…endangered one and whether the filleted fish being sold at the dockside of a trawler is from a permitted species or outside of quota,”

Read full article here: http://observer.com/2017/01/how-to-stop-wildlife-poachers/

April Rhino News!

April Rhino News!

Just a few days ago it was Save the Rhino Day! But why not make May Save the Rhino Month or better yet, lets make 2017 Save the Rhino Year!

Who is with me??


Orphanage closes down after brutal attack!

As you are aware a while back the Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage was attacked, the staff were assaulted and 2 of the rhino orphans killed. It shook everyone and has taken immense strength for the staff to bounce back. Unfortunately due to ongoing safety concern they have announced that they will be shutting the orphanage for good. Extremely tragic that is has come to this. We thank you Thula Thula for your amazing work.

Here is a statement from Thula Thula Rhino Orphange:

As our followers are aware, FTTRO experienced a brutal poaching attack in February that resulted in an assault on staff and the tragic loss of two rhino calves that were both shot and their horns removed. Since the attack, the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation, who administers the facility, has focused on the immediate safety of the staff, volunteers and remaining animals on site as well as providing support for the police and security experts investigating the incident.
In a recent statement explaining the way forward, LAEO Directors detailed an interim plan to move the animals and staff off-site to give their team a chance to recover from the trauma and allow management time to conduct independent security assessments and review the findings of the criminal investigation. "It is LAEO's responsibility to ensure that we meticulously weigh up all the factors of the investigation and security reports. Our focus is ensuring that the facility is safe for both people and animals, managed according to best practice animal rehabilitation protocols, and is sustainable." commented Yvette Taylor from LAEO.
Ongoing security challenges experienced since the attack and the review of the independent security assessments have resulted in the LAEO Board of Directors making the heart wrenching decision to permanently close the Fundimvelo Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage. The security assessments highlighted critical issues that LAEO management felt could not be mitigated and these factors would have directly compromised the ongoing safety of everyone on-site. Additional costs to provide extra 24/7 guards to adequately secure the facility in the long-term proved prohibitive and impacted on the sustainability of the facility. The decision was taken as a direct result of advice from security experts, anti-poaching professionals and senior police officers. 
FTTRO has made arrangements for the remainder of their donated funds to be channeled to the facilities who have taken over the care of the rhino calves. "Our supporters made donations in good faith to support the care of rhino orphans and we will ensure that their donations are still used for that purpose." said Yvette Taylor. "The animals have now all been moved together with their handlers to ensure continuity of care, and all the rhino calves, as well as Charlie, the hippo, are doing well and have settled in their new surroundings. The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation wishes to thank the public for their overwhelming support during this challenging time."

(Image by Peppermint Narwhal)

(Image by Peppermint Narwhal)

The Harsh Reality!

This is something else I came across this week that really put it all into perspective:

How can we let this happen under our watch?

 

 


BUSTED!!

Article by The Star

Customs bust attempt to smuggle in African rhino horns in Malaysia.
SEPANG: The Customs Department intercepted an attempt to smuggle in some RM13.6mil worth of African rhinoceros horns - making it the first and biggest haul of the item in Malaysia.
He said 18 horns, weighing about 51.44kg, were seized after checks were carried out on a package that was flown in from Mozambique via Qatar Airways to the KL International Airport.
"We acted based on a tip off. The shipment transited in Doha prior to its arrival at our air cargo warehouse at the free trade zone. Hamzah said the horns could be of African rhinos, given the origin of the package.
"Initial investigations found that the package was declared as 'Obra De Arte' (objects of art in Portuguese). the destination's address in Nilai is also fake," he said.
It is an offence to import horns without a permit from the Wildlife and National Parks Department. Asked what the horns would be used for, Hamzah said they could be used for medicinal purposes.
The case is being investigated for smuggling of prohibited goods under Section 135 (1)(a) of the Customs Act 1967.
A person convicted is liable to a fine of not less than 10 times the amount of the Customs duty or RM50,000, whichever is the lesser amount, and not more than 20 times the amount of the Customs duty or RM100,000, whichever is greater, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both.

Fundraising!

April was a great fundraising month for our rhinoLOVE project! We raised over $5200. Thank you to everyone who contributed especially the Sowerby family. This money will be donated to various organisations over the next 2 months to help us fund notching procedures as well as assist is caring for the orphans. We will keep you updated on how the money in spent on social media and in our next blog.

If you would like to support the rhinos please donate here:

https://give.everydayhero.com/au/safarifrankconservation

 

*image credit Graeme Mitchley

 

Breaking News

Breaking News

DID THAT JUST HAPPEN??

Well just days ago South Africa made it legal to SELL RHINO HORN!! I am still in shock.

 (See Full article below.)


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Awesome seeing people across the globe raising awareness of the rhino crisis! We can all learn a thing or two.

Matt Myer, a lifelong environmentalist, will be cycling along the West Coast of the USA, a distance of roughly 3000km, while towing a life-sized fibreglass rhino! “The Long Ride to Free Them” is taking place from the 17th April till the 17th June and aims to raise much needed awareness and funds for rhino conservation. Find out more and donate at www.rhinoride.org


The new baby rhino at Kragga Kamma has a name- TANK. Isn’t he cute??

 


We NEED your help!     

In May and June we are looking to assist in a number of rhino notching (similar to tagging) procedures. We need funds to be able to do these as highly qualified vets are required. Please help us by donating:

https://give.everydayhero.com/au/safarifrankconservation

 



 

South Africa Just Made It Legal To Sell Rhino Horn

Article By The Dodo

https://www.thedodo.com/south-africa-rhino-horn-2346417835.html

Just a few weeks after poachers broke into a rhino orphanage in South Africa and killed two baby rhinos for their tiny horns, the country made the domestic trade of rhino horn legal.
That's because John Hume, who owns the world's largest rhino farm (with over 1,000 rhinos he has bred) sued the government to get the 2009 moratorium on the trade overturned — and he won.
Worth more than its weight in gold, rhino horn is made of keratin, which is the same material as our fingernails. But organized crime groups profit from illegally trafficking the keratin from rhino horn across borders into Asia because of the unfounded superstition that it cures everything from hangovers to cancer.
Hume claims that the only way to keep his farmed rhinos safe is to sell their horn to pay for the cost of protecting them. "To me the people who are stopping me from selling my rhino horn and protecting my rhino may as well be joined with the poachers," he said.
The trade of rhinoceros horn has been internationally banned since 1977 because high demand for the horns drives rampant poaching and threatens rhinos with extinction.
Now that the moratorium on the domestic trade has been lifted, people in South Africa can get a permit to sell the very thing that has been driving poaching. Some say that lifting the ban on the domestic trade could make it easier for criminals to smuggle rhino horn out of the country.
"Legalizing domestic rhino horn trade in South Africa opens the door to further illegal exports of rhino horn," Susie Watts of WildAid's Africa Program, told The Dodo in a statement. "There is no domestic demand for rhino horn products and, as the pro-trade lobby very well knows, the reason why the moratorium was implemented in the first place was to prevent domestic trade from being used as a cover for smuggling."
In 2016, an estimated 1,100 rhinos were killed in South Africa, which is home to about 70 percent of the world's rhino population. The year before was even worse: 1,175 rhinos in South Africa were killed for their horns — an average of three rhinos slaughtered every day. It's estimated only about 29,500 rhinos are left in the world.
"There is no realistic way to maintain chain of custody over rhino horns and prevent them from being trafficked abroad," Watts said. "There should be no legal horn market so long as rhino poaching, illegal trade and consumer demand are out of control."

 

 

 

Photo Credit- The Rhino Orphanage

 

A tragic February

A tragic February

February has really been a tough and tragic month for the rhinos in South Africa. 

reference: Photo from Conservation Action Trust

Firstly we were hit by the bad news from Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa. She has declared that she plans to permit the trade in rhino horn domestically. Further worrying is that she plans on allowing the export internationally of horn for ‘personal purposes’ (in what looks like a loophole big enough to drive a tractor through).

This after years of repeated attempts by her in court to resist applications by local rhino farmers to trade horn on the domestic market.

If you would like to help us object to this please email Ms Magdel Boshoff at MBoshoff@environment.gov.za. (Africa Geographic)

Or sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/global-march-for-elephants-and-rhinos-non-profit-organisation-stop-sa-government-attempt-to-legalize-trade-in-rhino-horn?recruiter=72128957&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink


 

Then on the 20th February my worst fear came true, a rhino orphanage was attacked and 2 babies killed. The Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage, set on a hilltop amidst a sea of rural villages in KwaZulu Natal, was shattered as 5 men brazenly breached the security system and brought destruction and chaos to this special team of people and their rhino babies. The staff were held hostage, beaten and assaulted and then watched two of the young rhinos being killed in front of them. A horrific event that has left devastation and put everyone on high alert. The 2 young rhino (Impi and Gugu) were a week away of being dehorned and starting the process of being released back into the wild, these timeframes lead us to believe it could have been an inside job. Two of the perpetrators have been captured and face trial this week. On a positive note the public have come together and have raised over $40,000 to assist the orphanage with security going forward. If you would like to help the orphanage by donating please visit: https://www.generosity.com/emergencies-fundraising/emergency-security-funds-for-rhino-orphanage

To hear the 3 part interview about the ordeal with the orphanage founder Karen Trendler visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/rhinoloveproject/


The 2016 statistics have been released and people are happy that there has been a 10% decrease. 10% might sounds like a lot but it isn’t, we are still sitting at over 1000 rhinos being killed. 2014 was the highest with 1215 deaths, then 1175 in 2015 and in 2016 a total of 1054 rhinos were killed. These are however the reported cases and unfortunately we believe the true numbers are much higher. Even just 1 rhino killed is too many. We can make a difference by supporting the teams on the ground and spreading awareness.

 


Guess who is in Australia?

Damien Mander from the IAPF.

Meet former sniper Damien Mander and hear of his inspiring journey from special forces operator in Iraq to leader of a conservation charity protecting rhino and elephant from poaching. Working on the front lines of conservation in Africa, the IAPF is: "Wildlife Conservation through Direct Action".

Tour dates are:

  • March 1st: Perth
  • March 7th: Brisbane
  • March 14th: Sydney
  • March 19th: Adelaide
  • March 21st: Melbourne

Limited seats available. To book a ticket visit: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Invitation-to-meet-IAPF-founder-Damien-Mander-in-Australia.html?soid=1124636792817&aid=_aqGaL98H2I


March has to be a better month!

Lets start the month right by stopping rhino horn trade!

 

Karin

January Rhino News

January Rhino News

Hello rhino lovers!

It has been a good month with numerous poachers being arrested in South Africa. Unfortunately, the poaching incidents continue with a carcass found at Madikwe Game Reserve just a few days ago.

We have big plans here at rhinoLOVE to ensure we can make a BIG difference in 2017, setting a fundraising target of $50,000.

Latest News

On the 16th January it was confirmed that 11 poaching suspects were arrested inside and outside of the Kruger National Park by the South African National Parks Rangers. Numerous weapons, ammunition and unfortunately 6 rhino horns were recovered. For more about this click here. 

A very tragic incident occurred around Christmas, when 5 rhinos were poached and dehorned in their boma in North West South Africa. This horrifying event is a wake up call that no rhino is safe! For more info on this follow link

Unfortunately extreme measures need to be taken to protect these animals and that requires a lot of funding! To donate visit: https://give.everydayhero.com/au/safarifrankconservation


We have a select few organisations that we love and support. Here is a brief update on what they have been up to over the last month:

Care For Wild

Unfortunately, 2 more orphans arrived at the orphanage in December, Leo and Faye. They have both settled in very well and have formed a close bond. Their carer, Petronel says they are both drinking well and are on their way to recovery. That is great news. 

With extra orphans arriving it adds pressure on the orphanage as they now require more suppliers. Most of the babies are still milk dependant and therefore donations are vital to ensure they get the nutrition they require. The orphanage uses between 5-6 bags a milk powder a week, some babies can go through a whole bag all by themselves! 

Southern African Wildlife College

A message from Bruce, BatHawk pilot:

The December/January period was a busy month for the Bathawk Project, we flew throughout the Christmas and New Year period. This year period fell over the full-moon period making it an extremely vulnerable time for our rhino’s. A total of 75 hours were flown up until mid-January.
It was a bittersweet period with a record number of poacher arrests within the Kruger Park. 
Unfortunately a number of rhino succumbed to poachers bullets over this time, but a strong message is being sent out to poachers and poaching syndicates that we will no longer tolerate them in our parks and reserves and they will pay the ultimate price should they be caught.
On the 21st of December we received a report of gunshots being fired in one of our patrol areas. We got airborne at first light to respond to the call. Before long we located the carcass of a rhino cow that had been shot by poachers during the night, both her horns had been removed. Alongside her lifeless body was her tiny calf, which was less than a year old, nudging her mother trying to miraculously wake her  up! Moments like this are gut-wrenching and one has to fight back the tears welling-up, it makes one  angry and sad at the same time. A rescue operation was immediately initiated. A helicopter and vet were dispatched and the little calf was darted and air lifted to a place of safety. Thanks to all involved in saving this little orphan. I am happy to report that this little fighter is doing exceptionally well in his new home and has bonded with another young rhino of a similar age who also lost his mother to poachers. 
He has been fondly named “Leo” because of his amazing fighting spirit. Its moments like these that one really feels that we are making a difference.
We would like to thank all of our donors for believing in us and allowing our project to grow from strength to strength. The Project has become an integral part of the Greater Kruger Protection Foundation and plays a valuable role in rhino protection and anti-poaching.

We wish you all a fabulous 2017 and may this year be “The year of the rhino!”

To donate please visit: https://give.everydayhero.com/au/safarifrankconservation

To find out about our 2017 rhino conservation tours read more here.

RhinoLOVE- 2016 Review

We are proud to announce we raised over $20,000 this year for the rhinos! A great effort from the safariFRANK team and their clients. Thank you to everyone who helped raise the funds and to those who donated. FRANKLY, you have made a difference!

The funds were raised through different means including donations, sponsorship in sporting events, selling merchandise, various events and doing a Rhino Tour with the Blue Sky Alternative Investments team.  (If you are interested in doing your own Rhino Tour in 2017 visit http://www.safarifrank.com/rhino-conservation)

The funds have been donated to a select few organisations on the ground in South Africa. Through your support we were able to help build a brand new dog kennels at the Southern African Wildlife College, this allows them to home more anti-poaching dogs and therefore increase their overall efforts. We were also able to fund a rhino notching procedure and provide supplies for the rhino orphans at Care for Wild.

2016 has been another year where far too many rhinos have been killed for their horns however the positive news is the anti-poaching efforts has started kicking in and the number of poaching incidents have been on the decline. Now is the time to fight harder than ever to ensure the decline continues! Again thank you for your support in 2016 and we hope you will continue to help us save these incredible animals. 

Rhino Conservation Tour 2016

Rhino Conservation Tour 2016

The safariFRANK team (Johan, Jan and Frank) had the privilege of taking 5 Aussies on a trip of a lifetime to South Africa to experience the plight of the rhinos first hand.  Not only was it an unbelievable experience but also quite emotional and confronting.

INGWELALA

The group, we shall call them ‘team rhino’ were based at Ingwelala for the week. Ingwelala (meaning place where the Leopard sleeps) is a private shareblock nature reserve in the Umbabat and adjoins the unfenced Kruger National Park offering a truly unique and “wild” experience. These Aussies had no idea what they were in for!

There was no time for jet lag, the team got up early and stayed up late to find the animals and that they did! Elephants, buffalo, giraffe, rhino and leopard (in fact 6 leopards!) just to name a few.

Ingwelala really delivered and gave team rhino an authentic African experience- picture hyenas coming to the camp fire, lions roaring, sleeping outside in a tree house, exposed to all the elements… and animals (a bit scary!). The team was lucky enough to be accompanied by safariFRANK team member FRANK. Frank was their personal guide for the week and he was able to ramp up the whole experience by teaching the group about the animals and their surrounds.  They were especially appreciative to learn to decipher the different animal tracks.

BUSH WALKS

An early morning walk with James Steyn (one of the most experienced trail guides in South Africa) in the Klaserie Nature Reserve was a highlight. There is something about being on foot in the bush that gives you a major adrenalin rush. Team rhino were lucky to see a large herd of buffalo which they tracked and followed throughout the bush watching these beautiful animals in their natural environment. One memorable moment was when James taught them how to determine the length and size of a lion just by looking at its tracks.

Later in the week team rhino arose before sunrise to head out on another early morning bush walk with Wayne Te Brake in the Umbabat Game Reserve. Wayne’s knowledge about and his ability to notice the small things amongst the reserve was admirable and thanks to Wayne even team rhino now know a thing or two about an animals dung and what it can tell you.  

RHINO LOVE

Although team rhino were able to participate in the above events, the trip was all about the rhinos. Team Rhino met the people on the ground responding to rhino poaching every day and they were also able to get involved and experience firsthand what is involved to combat this poaching.  

SOUTHERN AFRICAN WILDLIFE COLLEGE

The Southern African Wildlife College is a not for profit organisation with a large focus on the rhino crisis. The team were lucky enough to meet the CEO Theresa Sowry and see all the good work the college does. The college is a key-driver in rhino anti-poaching measures and has three main areas of focus: field ranger training, an anti-poaching dog/K9 training unit and the Bathawk flying project.  Spending time with the anti-poaching dogs and meeting the soon to be field rangers’  was an eye opening experience to what is actually required for anti-poaching operations and how much people are sacrificing to save these beautiful animals.

BATHAWK

Each team rhino member had the privilege to fly with Bruce McDonald from the Southern African Wildlife College in the Bathawk. From the air they could easily spot animals including elephants, buffalo and lots of rhino and were amazed with Bruce’s keen eye and ability to spot the animals far away. Wow, what an experience! Two of the members got to take the BATHAWK experience to the next level and went on a live patrol over the reserve, on the lookout for any suspicious behaviour or poaching incidents. Luckily the coast was clear and there were no incidents to report, it was good to know that the rhinos were safe for the time being. Well done TEAM RHINO!

NOTCHING

The most unforgettable experience of the trip was no doubt the rhino notching; the team was able to assist in the entire process and boy was it interesting.

An experienced vet darted the rhino so that it was under sedation. Once asleep the vet made notches into the rhino’s ears so the rhino can easily be identified and monitored. The team drilled small holes into each of the rhino’s horns so a microchip could be placed into the horns. Small microchips were also inserted behind the rhino’s ears. Notching a rhino is an important advancement in the fight against rhino poaching as such marks act as identification points so that if the horn ever appeared on the market it can be traced back to the specific rhino. The whole procedure takes about 25 to 30 minutes and the rhino is well looked after to ensure it experiences as little pain and discomfort as possible. The team were able to assist in ensuring no harm was done to the rhino and it was as comfortable as possible by monitoring the rhino’s breathing and helping move the rhino so that it was in the optimal position. As you can imagine rhinos are quite heavy so this was not an easy task and required all hands on deck! The team were given the opportunity to name the rhino and what better name than…. you guessed it… “FRANK”.

After the procedure team rhino watched as Frank was awoken from his sedation. They were impressed with how easily Frank went on with his day grazing as if nothing had happened.

The process was very moving, and tears filled many eyes. The team shared that the experience gave you such an appreciation of just how vulnerable these large animals are and how important each action to alleviate rhino poaching is. A heart-rending experienced for everyone involved. We hope to visit FRANK the rhino again soon.

Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre

Visiting the orphaned rhino at HESC was also quite an emotional experience as the reality hit home just how much trauma these babies have suffered. The team got an inside look into what it takes to look after these orphans. The babies need around the clock care and require bottles and bottles of milk- it is an expensive task but such an important task in keeping these animals from becoming extinct! It is just another example of how important donations are and how much of an impact it has to keep the centre running. It was an absolute privilege to meet the HESC babies and the team looking after them.

WOW, WHAT A WEEK!

For a few of the Aussies this was a return trip to Africa and for others a first time, but one thing can be certain it was an unforgettable experience for all, never to be relived! Meeting all the people on the ground fighting for the rhinos motivated the team more than ever to help continue to raise awareness and much needed money to save these magical animals.

 

If you would like to donate to the rhinos please visit: https://give.everydayhero.com/au/safarifrankconservation

RhinoLove fundraiser

On Friday 17 June safariFRANK organised a RhinoLove fundraiser in Brisbane. It was held at the awesome Blue Sky Auditorium on Level 46 111 Eagle Street and was well attended despite the low awareness of the rhino saga in Brisbane.

A presentation was given by Fred Camphor the CEO of SAHGCA. Fred is involved in the fight against rhino poaching in RSA and his insight was much appreciated by all attendees, despite the very sad nature of the topic. Thanks so much Fred!

 

Also on display at the event was the very interesting Anti Poaching Scout technology from Scout Aerial Systems. Thanks for the effort guys.

Anti Poaching Scout technology from Scout Aerial Systems.

Anti Poaching Scout technology from Scout Aerial Systems.

We raised around $2k on the night through ticket sales and sales of items donated by generous donors. We also announced a number of 2017 Rhino Conservation tours and hope to raise another $3k through these. Please contact us should you be interested.

The Friday event was followed up by a Big Rhino Braai on the Gold Coast on Saturday 18 June. It was also well attended by friends and family of the Sharplin family and even more funds were raised! 

A big thank you to Adam, Karin and Hendrik for the effort to put these events together. Also to Blue Sky and the Sharplin family for hosting us!

We look forward to grow our RhinoLove community in Qld over the coming months. 

Watch this space!

 

running, swimming and cycling for our rhinos

running, swimming and cycling for our rhinos

Here at safariFRANK we have a deep committed passion for wildlife and specifically the rhino.

We recently competed as a team at the annual 2016 Byron Bay Triathlon. Much fun was had by all but more specifically a large sum, over $6k was raised! 

Our team member Jan Maritz completed and smashed his first ever individual triathlon!

The safariFRANK relay team consisted of Johan on the bicycle, Cyndi (from Changing Habits) doing the gorgeous sea swim and Jaco finishing off with a run.

Jan, Jaco, Cyndi and Johan competed in the 2016 Byron Bay Triathlon 

Jan, Jaco, Cyndi and Johan competed in the 2016 Byron Bay Triathlon 

 

Thank you to each person who contributed and for those looking to make a difference in the future please contact us for more information on how to make a positive impact on the fight against poaching.