Giving Rhinos a Future

I’ve always cared about rhinos but fell in love with baby rhinos when I seen the documentary, “There’s a Rhino in My House” featuring baby Tatenda. My husband jokes that my own substantial herd of cats, dogs and birds would be supplemented by baby rhinos, hyenas and wart hogs like the Travers household in the doc if we lived in Africa. Add in a couple of monkeys, baby ellies and giraffes and a lion cub or two and I’d be in my glory.

The Travers are the owners of Imire, a wildlife sanctuary in South Africa and they are doing exceptional work in the conservation of the black rhino and other species. The Equine Management and Wildlife Conservation Volunteer Program at the sanctuary is on my “To Do” (read Bucket) list. If you missed my  earlier post, here is the Imire Projects Portfolio: Imire Projects Portfolio

In my quest to continually learn more about rhinos, I’ve watched some heartwrenching videos of poached rhinos and some heartwarming ones of rhino babies playing together and rolling around in the mud. I’ve discovered several non-profits who are working to save the rhino through conservation, orphan rehabilitation and educational programs and one that saves the lives of rhinos critically injured in poaching incidents. So many people trying to save them, so many people murdering them. The devastation continues and we can only hope it ends before these beautiful animals and other vulnerable wildlife are extinct. Certainly global awareness is key but these hard-working organizations also need immense resources and financial support to accomplish their missions.

Below are the first two of these organizations I’ll be featuring in what I’m planning to be a regular series about the plight of rhinos, elephants and other wildlife that is being wiped off the face of the earth at an alarming rate. Take a moment to explore, and you can follow them on Twitter and FaceBook:

The Rhino Orphanage  The World’s First Baby Rhino Orphanage (Excerpt from website) “The Rhino Orphanage is a registered non-profit company based in the Limpopo Province and was founded by Arrie van Deventer in 2012. The orphanage is the first specialist, dedicated, non-commercial centre that cares for orphaned and injured baby rhinos with the only aim of releasing them back into the wild. It was created as the result of a lack of a specialized place for rearing baby rhinos who have been orphaned as a consequence of the current poaching crisis which feeds the illegal trade in horns, raises rhinos orphaned after their parents are killed by poachers, and rehabilitates them back into the wild.”

Saving the Survivors  Creating Hope From Hurt Saving the Survivors was started in 2012 to save rhinos who have been wounded; rhinos with their horns hacked off by poachers, and in snaring and other traumatic incidents. 80 to 120 rhinos per year currently benefit from this program with the numbers rising as poaching incidents increase.  Some of the animals are brought into their hospital but many are treated in the bush in their natural environment as transport is not always feasible or is too risky for the rhino.

(Excerpt from Saving the Survivors website) Right now, Africa’s rhinos are facing a crisis which threatens to completely extinguish one of the continents most important and iconic species.  Poachers are killing rhinos to subsidise an illegal trade in rhino horn to satisfy increasing demands from Asian markets who use rhino horn in traditional medicines, carvings and trinkets.  Poachers are decimating rhino populations, driving the species to extinction which is driving up the market price of rhino horn.  It is now a real possibility Africa’s wild rhino population could become extinct within the next decade.”

As always, I post about animal issues to share and spread awareness but also this blog is kind of an online personal journal where I can reference links to websites quickly and review old posts. I only wish I had more time to post extensively every day about critical issues like poaching and make it a fulltime project, but alas I must feed the animals in my own little sanctuary. 


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