April/May 2021 Newsletter

Busy Months for Baby Rhino Rescue

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Donation Report:

In our ongoing commitment to keep you, our donors, fully apprised of where your funds are going, this is what you made possible in the last two months: 

• A donation was made to Rhino Pride Foundation for security, paying for the salary of two guards.

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• A donation went to SA’s biggest private Game Reserve to pay for ten license plate recognition cameras. These cameras are a security game changer for the reserve.

As poaching amps up in that area of the country, state of the art poaching devices are needed. The cameras add to the anti-poaching units that BRR also funds. 

The wildlife areas and farms in the area have been hit by poaching, with one farm sustaining the slaughter of 37 rhinos! It is our intention to keep the glorious, wild rhinos on the reserve safe. 

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Special Message to All Baby Rhino Rescue Donors

From M.D Johan Odendaal’s

“We would like to sincerely thank all donors for the gracious donation received for the installation of License Plate Recognition cameras on our reserve. These cameras will greatly assist us in the fight against rhino poachers and the syndicates managing and transporting them.

“In addition to directly keeping the reserve and its rhinos safe, the LPR cameras will further aid a number of other rhino reserves whom we are now operating with collectively in intelligence gathering and communication, by linking the cameras to their databases and for information to be shared. 

“The fight against poachers needs to be fought not only by boots on the ground, but needs to be strengthened by the use of technology providing crucial intelligence and early warning to rhino strongholds.”

“We are enormously grateful for this contribution. It will greatly enhance our capabilities in fighting the rhino poaching scourge.”

Baby Rhino Rescue founder Helena Kriel collaborated recently with Don Pinnock, South Africa’s leading investigative journalist, to co-write an article on the rhino crisis.

Here’s a link to the finished product:

The World’s Last Rhinos: Part One
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The Daily Maverick asked Helena and Don to do a part two, which will be published in the next few weeks. This article will focus on an unprecedented Zoom discussion involving 16 rhino advocates who come from different perspectives and bring divergent imperatives. 

These former antagonists sought common ground, bringing a spirit of collaboration to the table, a desire to find solutions to a daunting problem.

We will feature the outcome of that meeting in the next BRR newsletter. 

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 • In another exciting development, Baby Rhino Rescue has partnered with iconic wildlife veterinarian Dr. Johan Marais and his organization, Saving the Survivors.

The organization provides care and treatment for wildlife that have suffered due to the impact of man, mainly through poaching. STS covers a large geographic area of Southern Africa that has little to no support in these affected areas.

The countless animals saved have given Johan Marais the worldwide recognition he deserves; he is one of South Africa’s true national treasures.

Saving the Survivors has successfully treated numerous rhino poaching survivors that had their horns and part of their faces hacked off. The rhino Hope became the face of poaching with her plight generating international attention.

The young female’s face was badly mutilated; both horns had been savagely hacked off, the nasal bone badly fractured, with sections completely removed! She became the face of poaching, with international attention suddenly focused on the crisis.

• Kicking off our partnership with Saving the Survivors, Baby Rhino Rescue will be helping Seha, the rhino who is now sadly the new face of poaching. 

Seha was brutally poached on a private farm in South Africa in 2014. Horrific pictures detail the extent of his injuries, with half of his face hacked off and nasal cavities exposed. 

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Left to die, the rhino was spotted by police. The owners stated he should be shot, but the police contacted Saving the Survivors and Seha was transferred into Dr. Marais’ excellent hands.

Now 7 years old and 30 operations later, this rhino is still alive! He has endured so much and now lives in a holding paddock. Seha needs to be released into a wild environment where he can again be a rhino and sire calves!  

Deeply moved by his plight, BRR has long wanted to be of help to this brave warrior. We will be kicking off the partnership with STS in a wonderful venture to help Seha through the Seha Fund. Details will be provided in the next newsletter!

Hitting the Road to Private Rhino Owners

In an ongoing commitment to learn more about the situation in the rhino world, founder Helena Kriel and BRR researcher and writer Helen Lunn are hitting the road with Tersia Jooste, founder of Rhino Connect. Together they will be visiting 10 different rhino farms to meet the owners, hear their stories, and understand the complexity of issues they face.

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“There’s no real ability to understand what the threat of poaching is like, for people like ourselves who have rhino on the property. It’s hugely stressful,” said Katherine Straughan, one of the farmers who with her husband owns a small eco-tourism outfit that has rhinos. 

“It’s the most unaffordable thing in the world to actually own rhinos,” she said. “And it is a cost to the way we live our lives. Sadly, the reality of going down to the Big Four, not having the Big Five anymore is truly on the cards.”

Rhinos in the hands of private farmers hold the best option for survival of the species. We will be detailing Helena Kriel’s journey and providing information that emerges in our next newsletter. 

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Thank you, dear donors, for your loyalty and continuing support in this difficult time, when the world is in crisis and people’s funds are stretched thin! We are very lucky that our donors care so passionately.

It makes everything we do possible! 

We’re working together to save rhinos from extinction!


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