Rhino conservation in S Africa

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May 19th, 2014, 06:52 PM
  #1
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Rhino conservation in S Africa

Hi everyone!!

I just wanted to let you know that our quest to do a rhino conservation project in Zululand Rhino Reserve is on. We couldn't be more excited - it was like Christmas morning when I got the email that it had been arranged. I just wanted to give you some details.

I found the Zululand Rhino Reserve when planning our S Africa trip in 2011 - it was created through the WWF as a black rhino territory expansion. It is right next to Thanda and across the N2 highway from Mkuze NP (which now has an unfenced border with Phinda). There is lots of speculation that the private game reserves are talking about taking down their fences and creating one big reserve. Hluhluwe-ImFolozi NP is just south of there - the place that saved the last of the rhinos the last time we (humans) tried to exterminate them. ZRR is now Big 5 - they got lions in 2011 after we were there.

Here's where I found it:
http://www.zululandrhinoreserve.co.z...ment-programme
At the top of that page, there are other projects they are working on (under conservation projects). There are also community projects. Maybe one or more of them interest you.

If you want to donate:
http://www.zululandrhinoreserve.co.za/support-our-trust
We are trying to raise more donations to allow for another rhino to be tagged, chipped and ear notched while we have the crew - veterinarian, helicopter pilot, animal handlers - there next month. Please let me know if you are interested! This is my version of crowd funding.

We are trying to include part of the local community to let them know that the wildlife is more valuable alive than dead.

Next time you visit, please consider doing something in the area you are going to. There are so many projects, and we can all do a little.

Thanks for putting up with my latest cause. Again!!
christabir is offline  
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Jun 5th, 2014, 07:38 PM
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Update: my Virgin Atlantic reservation (made with Delta FF miles) was cancelled. Nobody notified me. So when we called to confirm seat selections, Delta was great - they rebooked us through Atlanta. Really? A 16 hour flight?! Will we survive it in coach?! I'll let you know. If you don't hear from me, assume the worst!

We have two free checked bags per person and only need one. So I filled two boxes with children's books to give to the kids at the school that the Zululand Rhino Reserve Foundation supports. They learn in English, so all of the books I have accumulated through the library and freecycling (thanks Mom, Corin and Randy!) are perfect. I'm pretty excited about it.

I can't believe we have the opportunity to do this rhino thing!!
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Aug 3rd, 2014, 11:35 AM
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How did it go? Love the idea of taking children's books to donate.

Just starting to look into a trip to Africa but the bug has bitten me badly... I am hoping for a trip next summer.
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Aug 4th, 2014, 12:32 PM
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It was even better than we anticipated!! They have asked that I not give details on public forums (feel free to email me at christabir at yahoo dot com) to protect the rhinos, but it was the most thrilling experience ever. I would encourage everyone to do it. It was less expensive, including lodging, than for a couple to stay at Phinda, and most lodges that Americans use, for one night. I wish I could shout from the mountain tops what a worthwhile project this is, and how much good it may do. There is a picture on the Rhino River Lodge Facebook page (I don't know how to post it here) with the whole group and our little girl rhino. It was posted in mid-late June. Our ranger is on the lookout for her so she can send us a picture of her awake (!) with her Mom. She has only seen her once since we were there (it's a 30,000 hectare reserve) but missed the photo op.

We arranged for the camp to invite local tribe leaders to join us on the rhino outing and afterward gave them about 75 pounds of books to take back to the village. It was overwhelming how much they appreciated it. Such kind people. I am hoping to arrange to sell some of their gorgeous beadwork here (anyone know the import/export biz and how to ship relatively small quantities inexpensively?) so they have a little more income - especially women. Next time we go we want to arrange for some school kids to go on a game drive. That would be really fun if traveling with your own kids. We flew Delta and used the checked bag allowance to ship the books. We self drive (not sure you want to try that your first time, but it is very easy) and just left them in the car until we gave them away near the end of our trip. Not sure if it's practical if you take flights to get to destinations within S Africa.

Have fun planning your trip. Don't spend all your money on this trip - you will want to go back! Email me if you want to. It was incredible. I have a huge smile on my face every time I think about it.
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Aug 20th, 2014, 05:50 PM
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Sending rhinos into witness protection in KZN, Zambia and Botswana:

http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature...-by-its-ankles

Three killed per day...
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Aug 20th, 2014, 08:33 PM
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And now SanParks is moving 500 rhinos out of Kruger, however lots of questions surrounding where they are going :

http://africageographic.com/blog/san...r-safekeeping/
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Aug 21st, 2014, 09:11 PM
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As long as they don't hunt the rhinos it's ok with me. The cost to keep them safe is overwhelming, they have to pay for it somehow. Spend more tourist dollars in game reserves in Southern Africa so there is more money to protect them. Most are going to Botswana and Zambia. They have to do something, or they will be exterminated and then the poachers will move on to elephants. One elephant killed every 15 minutes in east and west Africa. Koni and Boku Haram are funding their wars with ivory. One elephant poached this year - the first in a decade - in Kruger this year.

They can't leave them in the eastern part of Kruger. Rhinos have no chance near the Mozambique border.

What's the point of posting about "alleged" rumors? To keep them safe, they will not make their relocations public so speculation is rampant.
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Aug 21st, 2014, 11:08 PM
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The point about posting about "alleged" rumors is that it is a big controversy here in South Africa. Not so much about them being moved out of Kruger but rather where they are going. A lot of groups asking a lot of questions, as they should be. Isn't that better than waiting to see how it all ends up? If there are really 260 rhino (more than half of the 500 to be relocated) on their way to these 3 hunting farms of course they will be hunted. Unfortunately sometimes things done in the name of conservation aren't really about that at all. I hope this is not one of those times.
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