Fighting animal poaching, saving endangered rhino with hi-tech equipment, leopard project suspended, CITES wildlife trafficking video.
250 rhino have been poached in South Africa in the last 171 days! Every two days three rhino die!
Not only is this rhino loss so devastating, the pain and suffering many of these animals go through is excruciating. Imagine having your face laid open while you’re awake! The “lucky” ones are dead before the chainsaw or machete strikes, however, others bleed to death, and a few, like Themba and Geza, stagger to their feet trying to escape the pain. (There’s a brief video clip of Geza the rhino in the ebook POACHED!)
The eBook: POACHED!
Dr. William Fowlds shared the tragic story of his struggle to save a rhino with us. It is now available at no cost as an ebook (PDF format.) A reader, Nicole in Hong Kong, was so touched by the story that she is getting POACHED! Translated into Cantonese, and possibly Mandarin and Vietnamese, so it can be circulated in Asia to raise awareness.
Nicole tells me that few people realize the impact of what they’re doing when they use rhino horn or other wildlife body parts. We might find this astonishing, however, do we in the western world comprehend, or care, how our consumption of meat impacts the lives of pigs, cows and turkeys?
Using technology to save rhino
While educating in Asia is an absolute necessity to curb the poaching of all wildlife species including the rhino for the long haul, protecting the remaining rhino on the ground is imperative. After months of searching we’ve chosen to offer full support to Peter and his team. That means from donations to spreading the word.
Peter and his team operate anti-poaching units on the ground. They involve locals, volunteers and partner with businesses to equip them with the surveillance and hi-tech systems needed to combat the poaching. An international unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is currently working with them and just yesterday we connected Peter to a surveillance company willing to collaborate in the war to save the endangered rhino.
Stats, Arrests, Success and More
A quick way to follow the top Rhino stories in the news is via our scoop.it magazine “What’s Happening to Africa’s Rhino?”
Here is a brief synopsis for the week…
Students and filmmakers team up
Jess, one of our Nikela volunteers (delivering a donation check to the raptor center), is an advertising student in Chicago back in South Africa for the summer/winter. She has gathered a team together to produce a unique rhino video. This week filmmaker Ryan Sean Davy (by the way his revealing rhino documentary filmed last year may soon be aired… wish I was at liberty to disclose by whom) agreed to assist Jess, as did Cathy Hommes Van Eeden who filmed Higgins and Lady and is owner of Swellendamtelevision (YouTube Channel). Jess tells me they’re taking a unique approach to this project, as after all there are so many rhino videos out there.
A quick look at who does the animal poaching, who allows it and what’s being done about it. This is what another of our scoop.it magazines, “Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it?” following the animal poaching trail in Africa and the world covers.
One reason folks donate to wildlife conservation and protection projects via Nikela is because we do the homework for you. We do the research (find experts doing crucial conservation work via small private organizations in South Africa), evaluate (ideology, sustainability, outreach and direction) and we monitor their efforts (regular contact, feedback from outsiders, and periodic visits by us or volunteers) to assure your gifts are being used as intended and making a difference.
Sadly, this is the first time we have to put a project on hold, the leopard research project. It appears that their direction has wandered to the point that the lead person on the ground, Anton decided he could no longer be a part of the work and left.
We are investigating the concerns, following the situation and will determine if the project is to be terminated. At the same time we are already considering another leopard project more focused on addressing the poaching of the species which is becoming an increasing threat.
One last video that’s a must watch and share, please.
Produced by UNTV in collaboration with CITES, Rhino Under Threat, does an excellent job of painting the overall picture of the rhino’s plight, what’s being done and what is still so desperately needed.
If you are touched by what you’ve seen and read, and would like to get involved, please consider clicking the giraffe button below and giving $7.