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