Our FaceBook Valentine’s Day Rhino Tinder garnered much attention. Responding to romantic rhino bios, they did not swipe right! They chose!  

January/February/March 2021 Newsletter

Protecting Rhinos

Guards, Anti-Poaching Units, and Now Cameras!

Three Months into 2021, BRR is Off to a Fast Start

Always intent on keeping rhinos safe, Baby Rhino Rescue recently financed another three months of full anti-poaching security for the black and white rhinos at South Africa’s largest private Big 5 Game Reserve. For security reasons, we cannot divulge the name or location of this incredible oasis. 

With a matching gift challenge from our faithful founding donor, advisory board member, and friend, Matt Grossman, Baby Rhino Rescue donors throughout the United States enabled us to equal Matt’s generous gift. With that total, along with funds from dozens of FaceBook donors, we are moving forward with an incredible new project! 

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20 LPR Cameras On Patrol!

Twenty License Plate Recognition cameras will soon be installed at the Big 5 Game Reserve to complement the anti-poaching unit already funded by Baby Rhino Rescue.

Once installed, the cameras will be connected to a network that gives participating members access to a National database of suspected traffickers and their vehicles, including animal, drug and human trafficking, along with, of course, known and suspected rhino poachers.

This will give security personnel the opportunity to work with agencies up to the National Crime Intelligence level. BRR-funded cameras will surveil a vast area and, beyond that, share intelligence with seven additional reserves!

With this high-tech capability, it is very difficult for poachers to remain undetected and it better enables the reserves to apprehend poachers BEFORE an animal is killed. 

Baby Rhino Rescue also continues to fund the full salary of two guards for Rhino Pride Foundation, which cares for rhinos owned by private parties who no longer can provide the support and protection rhinos need.

Private Rhino Owners —

The Saviors of the Species?

And that’s the perfect segue to what is coming to light in South Africa. 

Based on recently reported data, the future of rhinos appears to rest not with the state, not with government organizations, but with private rhino owners.

PROs may hold the key to keeping the rhino from extinction’s door in South Africa! The number of PROs is limited, and these dedicated people need assistance. 

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Consider this: 

• According to the Kruger National Park, the number of white rhino in their care have decreased by 67% in nine years. Black rhino numbers have plummeted 35% in seven years.

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San Parks recently released a census that put the number of white rhinos at 3,527 and black rhinos at 250.

These numbers are SHOCKING, well below what we expected. Yet as dismal as those numbers are, we are told that they are incorrect — the actual numbers are MUCH LOWER!

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To further complicate an already ominous situation, San Parks reports that it does not have DNA records of the rhinos in their care. That makes tracking stolen horn impossible and threatens the long-term health of the remaining herd. Why? Because, in short, San Parks has limited or no insight into the extent of inbreeding — a lack of information that could undermine the chances of creating a healthy crash in the future, especially as rhino numbers continue to fall.

And, a significant percentage of rhinos at the Kruger Park are reported to have bovine tuberculosis, an ancient bacteria that is causing new problems in Africa.

In most cases, animals with bovine TB need to be culled from the herd or, at a minimum, quarantined.

Baby Rhino Rescue knows this because of the three strongholds we have funded at Care For Wild rhino sanctuary. One of the strongholds is used to “quarantine” orphans who potentially were exposed to bovine TB.  

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Bottom line? 

Despite governmental subsidies, and massive private and NGO funding, 95% of the poaching has occurred in government and provincial parks! We’re told that state-owned rhinos have as little as six years left!

And that brings us back to private rhino owners: PRO now hold over 50% of South Africa’s rhinos — therefore, the largest number of rhinos remaining in the world.

Because of their effective yet costly security, and no “inside jobs,” less than 5% of the poaching in South Africa occurs on private land.

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The PRO are looking after their rhinos very well, but at a tremendous cost — financially and emotionally. 

• PRO receive no individual or state-sponsored funding whatsoever. And their maintenance and security expenses are astronomical. 

• With tourism virtually nonexistent due to the Coronavirus pandemic and their private funds vanishing, PRO’s are going bankrupt, forced out of the rhino world, giving up their rhinos, and selling their farms. As a result, the bush is returning to being farmed for beef.

So, the real question is: With the astronomical expenses of maintenance of an anti-poaching unit, who can take over protection of rhinos now? 

Private rhino owners have faced incredible stigma, often labeled as greedy or only “using” the rhino as a commodity, although the only current “value” of a rhino today is in the sale of its horn, which is banned, thus cutting PRO off from the only sure source of income. 

No one can assess the depth of the Asian market for horn, so the legitimate fear is that legalized horn sale would be the end of the species, which is why so many people vehemently argue against making the sale of horn legal. All positions are debatable, so the ban on horn sale is not likely to change anytime soon.

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Most NGO’s do not fund rhinos in private care, with Baby Rhino Rescue being a rare exception. In fact, two of our partners care for privately owned rhinos. We are thrilled that they can count on our support. 

To keep the rhino from going extinct, it’s clear that backing must be given to those doing a good job at keeping rhinos healthy and safe! 

The only way for the rhino to be pulled back from extinction’s door is to end the stigma private rhino owners face. Reliable income streams need to open up for the PRO who are dedicated to the survival of the species! 

So, what is to be done? 

This is something Baby Rhino Rescue is actively pursuing in South Africa; we look forward to updating you in the next newsletter. 

In the coming month, BRR founder Helena Kriel and BRR writer Helen Lunn, will embark on a fact-finding mission: traveling to meet with the private rhino owners, to hear their stories and pull the veil back on those who are really keeping the rhinos from extinction! 

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Please welcome two extraordinary new people to BRR!

Helping us to get the word out about our mission will be Dionne Domyan-Mudie, pictured above, the founder of one of SA’s leading PR firms, TPW Agency. 


Dionne has decided to leverage the power of her company to assist in creating awareness on a global scale about BRR and the poaching crisis.

Working with her will be top consultant Tamaryn Nicholson, pictured above. 

A Special ‘Thank You’ to Special People!

• Thanks again to Cindy Lee from Wags and Menace Make a Difference Foundation. Young orphan Adam can look forward to two months of lovely milk thanks to Cindy’s donation!

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• We want to thank all donors who stepped up to donate to our Matt Grossman matching security camera fund!

We will be reporting back about camera installation soon. 

Donors, YOU make all this possible. Without you, we could accomplish nothing. Thank you. We are working together to save the rhino from extinction!  

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