Conference with a Conscience
Save the Rhino
Since 2006 there have been over 1000 rhinos lost to poaching in South Africa. In 2008 the number shot up to 83, from 13 in 2007. By 2010 the figure had soared to 333, followed by 448 recorded poachings in 2011. During 2012 a devastating 668 rhino were needlessly butchered for their horns. Over 90% of surviving rhinos are now in South Africa as the populations elsewhere in Africa and Asia have been decimated.
Unfortunately, Kariega Game Reserve has not escaped this scourge. On the 2nd of March 2012 one cow and two bull rhino’s were poached at Kariega. Tragically, one bull was fatally wounded and died during the course of the night, whilst the remaining two were severely injured, but showed an incredible will to survive. For 24 days wildlife veterinary expert, Doctor William Fowlds, worked tirelessly with the Kariega team to give these survivors the best possible care and chance for recovery. Their bravery was unbelievable, and inspired our rangers to nickname them Thandiswa and Themba, two isiXhosa names meaning courage and hope. Sadly Themba (Hope) suffered a leg injury on the night he was poached and as a result of infection passed away on the morning of the 26 of March 2012. Thandi continues to inspire and amaze us with her incredible fighting strength and miraculous recovery.Caring for Thandi and Themba
After Thandi and Themba were poached, Kariega was flooded with requests to contribute to the medical care of these two survivors. In response to this overwhelming support the Kariega Foundation created a special fund dedicated to the rehabilitation and care of our rhino's Thandi and Themba.
Since then we have been blessed with incredible support from so many amazing people, and while Thandi continues to require medical treatment, we are pleased to announce that the funds raised between March to August 2012 covered the emergency phase treatment of both Thandi and Themba. This incredible accomplishment is thanks to every single person or organisation that lent their support and generosity to the Foundation. >From everyone at Kariega, especially Thandi and Themba, THANK YOU TO ALL INVOLVED.
Looking forward, most of our efforts will be geared towards improving anti poaching on the reserve and trying as best we can to continue protecting our rhino. The following is the type of funding ideally required at a reserve like Kariega (with the estimated type of costs involved). Although we would love to, we are not necessarily able to do all the listed measures as like everything, what we are able to do depends on the availability of funds (both ours and outside support). However we are committed and determined to persevere in doing what we can.
The story of Thandi and Themba is part of the much broader issue of rhino poaching – an issue which we cannot fight alone. Kariega actively supports the Forever Wild Rhino Protection Initiative of the Wilderness Foundation and the Rhino Project of the Endangered Wildlife Trust. Both are incredible organisations which have our full trust and support in all their commendable endeavors toward saving the rhino.
How can you help?
If you wish to contribute to our efforts in caring for Thandi and protecting our rhino and other rhino generally, you can make a contribution in one of the following ways. Any size donation will help, and is hugely appreciated!
This year SAICSIT 2013's Conference with a Conscience
will raise funds to support Thandi and Themba !