VIEWS: 10 PAGES: 5 POSTED ON: 2/7/2011
imagine HOW WILL WE FEEL WHEN THERE ARE NO RHINOS LEFT ON EARTH tears to my eyes and staying my hand from If we stand by and let it happen, with no attempt to typing. Number of rhino If we who have a voice stick our heads prevent the massacre, how in the sand because we can’t stand reading killed so far this year do we sleep? another terrible report, can’t stand seeing another terrible picture or can’t stand The massacre is happening hearing of another death we are surely 295 surrendering to this war against poaching. at the rate of almost a And war it has become. Have a look at our facebook page for rhino a day. It brings me to Rhinos are being struck down from a youtube clip you must see. tears to think my fellow babies to adults and often the poachers are The SAVE FOUNDATION of Australia not even using bullets to kill them. Just humans are killing these darting them and then after cutting off their (NSW branch) animals inhumanely, strictly horns leaving them to bleed to death. Who does that? Members of the human race - Price per kilo for Rhino Horn is for their horns. rhino’s greatest predator. This newsletter for the NSW branch of USD25,000- USD40,000 SAVE has been the hardest I have had to There are unfortunately dozens of write and in fact I wondered if I would be stories in the press at present detailing the with the average adult rhino able to actually complete it as every time I poaching statistics .I am not going to carrying 4-5 kilos of horn. sat at my desk a complete feeling of reiterate them here - you can easily find helplessness would overwhelm me bringing them on the internet. Babies have a half to 1 kilo stump This is the year we can No matter what your contribution every contribution counts. Whether you spread the make a difference word to your friends that Rhino Horn doesn’t cure cancer, fevers or pains; dig into your pocket with a donation; attend our 2011 fundraiser in February ; click 2011 onto our facebook page and participate in discussion; or simply educate yourself as to the plight of these beautiful and wondrous creatures: You can make a difference Report on Dee and Peter’s recent trip to Lewa Downs, Laikipia, Kenya Recently Peter and I visited Lewa Downs in Kenya, home to the famous Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, one of the most successful examples of wildlife conservation in Africa. Lewa was originally a cattle ranch owned by the Craig family, but in 1995 Ian Craig turned it into a conservancy. Now, a fence to protect the wild animals runs around the entire perimeter except for a small monitored entrance allowing for seasonal movement of wildlife. I immediately fell in love with the place the moment we landed. Whilst we waited around the airstrip for other guests we were treated to sightings of 4 of the Big Five. The park is 55,000 acres of open grasslands, woodlands, wetlands and the rolling hills of the Rift Valley. Our stay Lewa Safari Lodge was superb. The accommodation, meals and staff were wonderful, the wildlife proliﬁc, and the many rhino sightings were a delight. We also saw the highly endangered Grevy’s Zebras for the ﬁrst time. Lewa is home to more than 20% of world ’s population of these exquisitely beautiful ungulates. During our stay our extremely knowledgeable and helpful Masai game ranger facilitated a meeting for us with the Chief Conservation Ofﬁcer, Richard Moller, and his assistant, Michael Ntosho. They went to great lengths to explain the work being done at Lewa, the problems they faced and the direction they were heading in the future. Rhinos are very well looked after at Lewa, there are more rangers than rhinos and we constantly came across them dutifully patrolling on foot in the park. Lewa has reached maximum carrying capacity for its Black and White rhinos; whilst a credit to its success it also means it’s time to expand. Funding will be needed for more stafﬁng, increased fencing, and new ranger outposts. We came back knowing we had a mission ahead – to help raise funds for this wonderful haven for wildlife. Dee Williamson Chairman SAVE Foundation (NSW Branch) Sydney November 2010 My family’s special experience meeting rhino calf In September of this year whilst in South Africa my family were able to spend time with an orphaned one year old black rhino calf. Whilst a very special experience it would have been far nicer to have seen calf and mother living in the wild. The little one’s mother was poached and he was left to starve to death. Fortunately he was discovered in time and is now thriving at Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre near the Kruger Park. Lets hope once he is reintroduced to the wild he doesn’t meet the same fate as his mother. I am determined to do all I can so that this does not happen. FACTS: Rhinos should live up to the age of 35 1. Rhino horn does not cure cancer 2. Rhino horn doesn’t cure fevers 3. Rhino horn doesn’t have any medicinal properties whatsoever The Vietnamese and Chinese are driving the illegal importation of rhino horn from Africa for this purpose. Picture from Mombo of 4. Rhino horn is not an aphrodisiac Moremi a white rhino cow Never has been and never will be. with 3 week old calf in July Just an old wives tale. this year. 5. Rhino horn is composed of keratin This is what makes up our nails and News From The Mombo Rhino Trust Botswana hair and grows back slowly if cut off 6: There are 5 species of rhinoceros Good to hear from you. Having finalized all arrangements and permitting for the movement of twenty One of these The African Black black rhinos from Zimbabwe to Botswana in May this year, we had to postpone the operation until further Rhinoceros is critically endangered notice due to the early arrival of record floodwaters into the Okavango Delta from Angola. A 7. Rhinos are very intelligent creatures combination of record rainfall over the delta itself, the remnants of last years large flood, and higher than Contrary to belief Rhinos are smart normal rains in the catchment have resulted in the widest inundation in over thirty years. Whilst being a and have a fabulous sense of smell massive positive to every other aspect of the biodiversity of the region, it laid low our plans to transport and hearing. Their eyesight is not fantastic. the rhinos to the bomas at Mombo due to the fact that there was simply too much deep water on the way. The extent of the flooding is such that no trucks can proceed into the delta at this time, and the risk of 8. Group of rhinos is called a crash A wonderful sight to behold and getting stuck with a live rhino aboard led me to make a call to postpone. However, we are monitoring rarely seen with the black rhinoceros the water levels very, very closely, and when we feel that we have a completely safe and extended as they are more solitary than their period of low water, we will move quickly. It is becoming more and more important as with each passing white cousin day to move these animals, as it appears that there is a resurgence of the large scale poaching experienced in the 1980’s. This is very evident in both Zimbabwe and South Africa where the losses are The illegal trade in horn reaching unacceptable levels, largely it appears, to a demand from Vietnam. This has yet to be driven from China and confirmed and investigative authorities are still following information on several horns that have been Vietnam is the biggest threat confiscated in South Africa. to the species ever. Mercifully, and probably due in large part to the ongoing monitoring and patrolling by the combined Wilderness Rhino men and the Botswana Anti Poaching Unit, as well as the availability of the Botswana Defence Force, we have not yet been targeted. As you have said, the need to keep on growing our populations of both white and black rhinos is massively important in the context of what is going on around us, and we have shown that we have a highly organized and informed team around our wildlife populations and our rhinos in particular. I think that it is important that yourself and your friends in the SAVE organisation know that their efforts and funding have had a direct influence on the outcome of this ongoing work. Of course, we will always be short of funding, when one sees the resources that the poachers are using in both South Africa and Zimbabwe (Helicopters and immobilization drugs have been used in several cases), so please ask them to keep up the excellent work. I am personally taking a direct interest in the rhino security situation in the region so that we may preempt any organized attempts into This is the prize - this is what my life is Botswana, but, as I have said, we remain vigilant as a project and as a country. taken for! How can humans do this to us? Why do they leave me to bleed to death? Everyone can be assured that we remain on course and very committed to helping the rhino. Why do they not care about my baby? Keep onwards Map Ives Interview with our Chairman Dee Williamson Dee, you are currently the Chairman of SAVE Foundation (NSW Branch). How long have you been involved with the foundation and what led you to take this step I've been involved with SAVE since about 1994. It was at the time when Western Plains Zoo was importing black rhinos from Zimbabwe to start up their captive breeding programme. Despite having lived in South Africa for most of my life, I had no idea they were being so severely poached. We’d always seen them so frequently at the game parks right up until the time I left in 1977. The plight of the rhino was being televised and at the end of the programme there was a number to call if you wanted to get involved. It all started from then.... How has fundraising changed over the years? Fundraising is much the same, really. I got involved in a small way and eventually ended up as chief organiser. I was so enthusiastic! Fundraising is always difﬁcult - it's far easier to get people to donate money or be a sponsor if you're fundraising for a cause that affects people, especially children. Asking the public to help save rhinos is pretty remote, I mean the koala would be more relevant over here. For any budding committee members out there what has been the most satisfying moment for you being part of SAVE? Working to raise funds for a critically endangered animal, especially one with such a high proﬁle as the rhino, is very motivating. Even the smallest amount can make a big difference. There are so many causes out there that are worthwhile, the tiger, the whale, the bears etc etc you sometimes wonder where do you start? I just think that for me, just the little I can do is better than doing nothing. I know it sounds corny but if we all did something the world would be a better place. My reward and my thrill is to see the rhinos in situ - in their own habitat, roaming free like they always have since time immemorial. My motivation is to keep them on the planet for future generations - they have survived this long and do not deserve to be wiped out by man's greed. Africa is such a wonderful continent but everyone who loses their heart to "her" has to also cope with the traumas associated with poaching, poverty, and lawlessness. Whenever I step onto African soil I have tears in my eyes, always feel at peace and know my soul will be enriched. What do you feel? Africa is a severe land, a land full of extremes. Beautiful, exciting, violent, primal. The emotions are always intense, there is nothing ordinary about Africa, nor about the issues being dealt with there. It is where man originated, and everyone should go there once in a lifetime, it takes one back to one's roots. Dee, thanks so much or sharing some of your thoughts and experiences with us. It is an absolute pleasure working with you on the committee. You are a real role model! Thank you Cheryl! This year we also assisted Ziwa rhino sanctuary in Uganda as they are trying to reintroduce rhino back to protected areas within Uganda. Unfortunately the rhino were wiped out during Amin’s reign and now that Uganda is much more stable under President Musoveni the damage to the country’s wildlife is slowly being repaired. Ziwa situated 170kms north of Kampal is under under direction of Angie Genade. The Sanctuary is trying to promote breeding programmes to ensure long term viability of reintroduced rhino populations. They have armed guards to protect the rhinos currently in the sanctuary. Ziwa are also trying to educate local communities that poaching will not promote tourism or supply long term jobs, etc , etc Funding is urgently needed to achieve their goals. www.rhinofund.org We at SAVE wish Ziwa every success and know that our $1000 donation has been put to good use repairing the roof of the ranger training area. We leave the year 2010 confident that we are active participants in this war to stop poaching. Each and every one of us can make a difference and we must try. In closure, myself and each member of our committee wish you happiness during the Festive season. To quote Dame Daphne Sheldrick, “Every person on this earth has a responsibility to save the earth's wildlife from extinction for its existence is essential to the human spirit and well being of the earth as a whole.” This newsletter has been written solely from the heart for The SAVE Foundation (NSW Branch) - Cheryl Smith email@example.com
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