Non-Executive Chairman, Karl Hartey shares his experience of heading to a South African Reserve to help save the depleating population of Rhinos.
We were able to take part in an amazing experience to help save the rhinos on the reserve! Adventure Philanthropy was proud to support and be a part of the efforts to save endangered rhinos from extinction through the anti-poaching initiative at Phinda Reserve.
We were able to participate hands on with the reserve’s team of rangers, vets, and rhino conservationists in the dehorning of the last three amazingly beautiful rhinos. After reading and viewing the photos PLEASE share so the word can get out to stop poaching!
South Africa has by far the largest population of rhinos in the world and is an incredibly important country for rhino conservation. However, rhino poaching levels have dramatically escalated over recent years.
Since 1970 the increase in large-scale poaching of the now critically endangered black rhino resulted in a dramatic 96% decline in the population from 65,000 to the current population of between 5,042 to 5,455. Since 2008 poachers have killed at least 5,940 African rhinos. Rhino poaching is currently at a crisis point.
By the end of 2015, the number of African rhinos killed by poachers had increased for the sixth year in a row with at least 1,338 rhinos killed by poachers across Africa. Rhinos were recently killed just last month on the reserve we were at.
The current poaching crisis is attributed to the growing demand for rhino horn in Asian countries, mainly Vietnam and China due to their belief it can increase virility and its high value (1million USD per kg) has also made it a status symbol of wealth. There is absolutely no scientific evidence to show any benefits for using rhino horn. It is simply made up of keratin similar to a horse’s hove or a human finger nail. So to poach these animals is simply a waste and a horrific act of animal cruelty.
Law enforcement plays a crucial role in deterring poachers, however there is no single answer to combat the current poaching crisis. A variety of strategies are needed to combat poaching including rigorous anti-poaching and monitoring patrols, community conservation and environmental education schemes, demand reduction projects in Asia, captive breeding, translocations, and reserve dehorning initiatives.
Phinda Reserve takes part in every effort to protect their rhinos. It is a bitter sweet last line of defense for them to dehorn all their rhinos in hopes to stop poaching on the reserve. By dehorning a rhino it doesn’t not alter its ability to hunt, protect, or find food. It is better to see a rhino alive without its horn than to see a dead one mutilated.
Featured in the Hartey Wealth Management Summer 2016 Newsletter