Rhino poaching – make a difference

Johannesburg - In an effort to contribute to the fight against rhino poaching, the South African National Park encourages all South Africans to mobilise themselves and join in the activities planned countrywide.
This year’s theme for World Rhino Day is “Five Rhino Species Forever”, which celebrates both the African and Asian rhino species.

Poaching has increase from 13 per year in 2007 to a staggering 437 in total as of 3 September 2012.

The World Rhino Day tradition started in 2010 as an opportunity for people all over the world to take a stand against rhino poaching and the illegal trade in rhino horn.

According to Acting Head of Communications at SANParks, Paul Daphne, “World Rhino Day is an opportunity to highlight the efforts being made to fight the scourge of rhino poaching around the world and to debunk the myths and reduce the demand for rhino horn.”

Daphne said the current rhino poaching statistics for the Kruger National Park (KNP) stood at 241 for this year.

 “It is indeed worrying that we are still losing such a high number of rhinos but the increasing number of successful arrests and steeper sentences such as the combined 58 years imprisonment imposed on two suspected rhino poachers recently is encouraging.

 ”The KNP has arrested 49 suspected poachers this year. This is not only thanks to the increased cooperation from ordinary members of the public but also from corporate South Africa joining the fight against rhino poaching. 

“We hope this will result in successful investigations, effect more arrests and ultimately realise more successful convictions of the perpetrators,” Daphne said.

World Rhino Day 2012 will be a special day of celebration for all five species of rhino around the world, hence this year's theme: 'Five Rhino species forever'.

Here are a few ways to get involved or show your support...

    Find Rhino Neal – RAGE

RAGE was designed to be a safe conduit for public contributions to those who fight the organised poaching networks - this cause, whether it be financial, material or in the form of skills and information.
Visit their website to make contributions that will go directly to those at the forefront of the fight.
chimeracoms@gmail.com or 082-441-6070.
The Crime Line toll-free hotline: 0800 205 005 (National Wildlife Crime Reaction Unit)

    Save the Rhino Trust

Make a donation to the Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) in support of the work they have been doing by monitoring and patrolling Namibia's rhinos for three decades.

    Blow the whistle

Forever Wild Rhino Protection Initiative - Wilderness Foundation believes that without the intervention of government and the public, the rhino may be extinct in the next ten years. In March 2012 it took over 18 000 signatures as part of its Wilderness Foundation's lobbying campaign to government.  Together with Shamwari Game Reserve they're launching a Rhino awareness Calendar and in May 2012, the Foundation printed and distributed thousands of flyers and posters encouraging whistle blowers to come forward with information related to rhino poaching through a tip-off line (0786969494). "Someone knows someone who knows something!"

    Name or Adopt a Rhino

Lewa’s Rhino Conservation Programme has a population of 74 black rhinos and 56 white rhinos. You can support the important research, conservation and protection of Lewa’s flagship species by “naming” or “adopting” a rhino and receiving regular updates on the animal’s progress.

    Join the Rhino Letter Writing Campaign

Earlier this year seven-year-old Afeefah Patel of Evans Park made headlines when she wrote a letter to President Zuma asking him to protect Rhino from poachers. Read his reply here. Write your own letter and join the One More Generation in raising awareness about the illegal poaching of rhino horn.

    World Rhino Day - buy products that support rhino conservation

Buying items that support rhino conservation is another way of getting involved. R10 from the sale of each of these Woolworths bags go to the Wildlife ACT Fund in support of WWF-SA’s Black Rhino Range Expansion Project  or sport a Rhino Ambassador badge to show your support. Visit their facebook page for more info. Otherwise purchase the Save our Rhinos CD Compilation of South African music - each sale makes a contribution to The E.W.T. Save The Rhino Fund.

    Increase your knowledge with Rhino expert talks

The One & Only Cape Town will be hosting a slideshow presentation and talk with renowned rhino expert Galeo Saintz. Held on Saturday September 22 to coincide with World Rhino Day, Galeo will present On Foot through Rhino Heartland and Rhino Reality, a showcase of an adventure where four young conservationists walked through the full extent of the heartland of black and white rhino in Zululand. The slideshow and talk will take a journey Tickets to this fascinating talk will cost R230 per person and will include lunch at Reuben's offering the Save the Rhino set menu with wine pairings from Linton Park.

Visit the World Rhino Day website for further details

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