World Rhino Day – 22nd September 2012
In 2011, 488 rhinos were poached in South Africa, up from 13 in 2007! Latest rhino poaching statistics indicate that 381 rhinos have been killed so far in 2012, at this rate, more than 500 rhinos will be killed this year in South Africa alone. Kenya lost a reported 27 rhinos to poaching in 2011.
Currently there are an estimated 4,800 black rhinos and 22,000 white rhinos in Africa. Current poaching levels could see both species extinct in the wild by as early as 2025!
Rhinos are poached for their horn – it’s use in Asia as a recreational drug and cancer treatment is based on myths, but it has escalated in the last few years. In Africa and Asia, rhinos are being brutally slaughtered in large numbers to supply this demand, with prices fetching between $50,000 and $60,000 per kilo, more than gold or cocaine, which in turn is attracting the attention of organised crime. An average horn weighs 7kg and is therefore worth more than half a million dollars.
As with elephant poaching, rhino poaching is a symptom and so the most effective way to tackle the problem is at the cause. When the demand stops so will the illegal and pointless killing of rhinos. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a front line organisation, working on the ground in Kenya to protect rhinos – as while a demand exists, anti-poaching mechanisms in the field are critical in providing essential protection to rhinos. In tandem with its field initiatives, the DSWT is supportive of those organisations taking a pro-active role to reach out to rhino horn consumer markets and educate people as to the truth behind rhino horn – after all, the horn is made of keratin, the same substance found in a human finger nail.
On this World Rhino Day the DSWT is encouraging its supporters to share as widely as possible an animated short film created by the African Conservation Foundation and Anthony Roberts, to create awareness of the issue. To tell those that use rhino horn that they have been sold a myth by those financially benefiting from the illegal trade and that there remains no scientific base for the use of rhino horn. Rhino horn has no proven medicinal value.
You can help protect rhinos by share this animated film as widely as possible and by fostering one of the two orphaned black rhinos currently being hand-reared by the DSWT, Maxwell and Solio. You can also make a direct donation to the DSWT in support of the rhino orphans’ project.
US$ 50 Buy mineral blocks for our rhinos Maxwell and Solio for 1 month
US$ 100 Copra Cake supplementary food for Maxwell and Solio for 1 month. The process of coconut oil extraction done by crushing copra (shelled, dried and grated coconut) to produce coconut oil, the by-product is known as copra cake or copra meal. It is high in protein and fibre and much loved by the rhinos
US$ 250 Buy the milk needed to feed Solio for a month
US$ 500 Purchase 100 bales of Lucerne loved by both of the hand reared rhinos presently in our care. (Lucerne is widely grown throughout the world as forage for livestock, and is harvested like hay with high nutritional value)
US$ 1000 Help towards the salaries of the rhino orphans’ 4 Keepers for a month
To make a donation go to https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/is/donate_now.asp