This year is all about cameras. This spring, Baby Rhino Rescue donated three License Plate Recognition cameras to a reserve in the northern part of South Africa. These cameras are connected to the South Africa Police Service and monitor all vehicles entering the area. They will not only benefit the anti-poaching team but also 54 households and the greater communities surrounding the reserve.
On the 10th of March, Rhino Connect got a call that a lonely rhino bull, with a full horn, was spotted in a provincial reserve. There was immediate fear for his safety and a team was pulled together to arrange for a horn-trimming. With help from Baby Rhino Rescue, Rhino Connect was able to sponsor the flying time of Hope for Wildlife Helicopters, who taxied the veterinarian and also attended in air searching and darting of the bull. His horn was successfully and safely trimmed, and he is now again roaming the area.
Baby Rhino Rescue has partnered with Wildlife Protection Solutions to fund the purchase and installation of ten motion sensor cameras for our newest partner, Marataba Conservation. These real-time cameras relay information to wpsWatch, a system that monitors activity 24/7. When wpsWatch detects wildlife threats, it sends emails or SMS alerts (along with the coordinates of the intrusion) to security and monitoring staff, prompting an immediate response to active intrusions and illegal activities.
Baby Rhino Rescue has partnered with Wildlife Protection Solutions to fund the purchase and installation of 20 motion sensor cameras for our partner in the Kalahari. These real-time cameras relay information to wpsWatch, a system that monitors activity 24/7. When wpsWatch detects wildlife threats, it sends emails or SMS alerts (along with the coordinates of the intrusion) to security and monitoring staff, prompting an immediate response to active intrusions and illegal activities.
Thanks to a generous donation from Wags and Menace, Baby Rhino Rescue has donated $1,000 for milk for any rhino babies currently in need at Care for Wild. Thank you once again to Wags and Menace for their ongoing support!
Rhino Pride Foundation has recently built a state-of-the-art hospital to care for any injured and/or orphaned rhino or any other injured wildlife. Equipment such as a digital x-ray, ultrasound, blood machines and a video endoscope is available for on-site and field work. The hospital contains an ICU (Intensive Care Unit) and Baby Rhino Rescue has funded the padding for the walls and floor so no patient will be hurt or develop side effects while lying down when weak or recovering.
A solidly built boma and night pen are essential to the rehabilitation of orphaned rhinos. There are multiple stages within the rehabilitation journey, but each phase is designed to heal, nurture, and prepare the growing calf for release back into the wild. Calves can spend as long as four years in the rehabilitation phase so these state-of-the-art holding facilities are critical to their care. There was an urgent need at Care for Wild to refurbish one of the bomas and the night pen within it.
Our most successful campaign to date focused on Seha, the wounded warrior. Working with Saving the Survivors, we raised enough money to not only move Seha to a larger, wilder home but to also purchase two breeding-age females to accompany him! In December 2021 the females, named Tshilidzi (“Grace” in Tshivenda, the language in the region) and Dakalo, (meaning “Joy”) were moved within the Marataba reserve to a 2,000 hectare protected area. We call them Tshilli and Dako for short and are thrilled for Seha to join them in mid-January. He will begin his new life with Grace and Joy at his side.
The cameras on this reserve are part of a bigger network called the Kameeldoring Network, which is a security network that assists private rhino owners in the area. These cameras are spaced over a vast area and the information gathered by them can be accessed by all members of the Network. In addition, the group works with law enforcement agencies and continually gathers information on poachers and poaching syndicates with regular intelligence feedback to all members. Members also have access to the national database of suspect vehicles, which includes all crimes such as hijacking, vehicle theft, drug smuggling, human trafficking and of course, poaching. These cameras are a security game changer for the reserve!
Working with the CFW Rhino Sanctuary, Baby Rhino Rescue provided funds to help in the development of the Sunrise Vegetable Garden. CFW staff tilled the fields, planted the seeds, and brought water in for irrigation. The gardens are maintained and harvested by members of the community. The community has been growing, consuming and selling green beans, carrots, tomatoes, butternut, spinach and corn. The garden project has improved food security and stimulates the local economy through job creation and skills development.
With the Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary, we have fully funded the soccer kits of “Team Rhino” and they have won their first game. We anticipate that as the “Rhino Teams” grow, a “Rhino Cup” is in the cards! These teams will be playing for the rhino.
Rhinos suffer from a number of different potential maladies. It is important to inoculate against these and keep the rhinos fortified and healthy. The inoculation donation funded the helicopter costs, darts, and vaccines. The vaccines will keep the rhinos protected for full a year.
The most cutting-edge project in South Africa – a wilderness dedicated to animals only – needs state of the art anti-poaching to keep the 100 strong truly wild rhinos safe! Surrounded by farms where rhinos have been poached, and with an increase in poaching due to Covid-19, security was a priority. BRR immediately came to the aid of the rhinos, and all the other animals, with funding for all inclusive security for 18 months.
The first rhino stronghold isolated an area of 350 sq hectares for the “clean rhinos”. These are rhinos thought to be tuberculosis free. While the first stronghold allowed for the rhinos to roam safe and free, it was decided that it needed to be expanded. This would ensure double the security by providing a buffer zone between the first stronghold fence and the second, which would ring this area, and make it larger. It contains an area that allows for guard, horse and dog patrol. Matthew Grossman matched the funds generated from BRR and Facebook donors.
In 2016, the Kruger National Park detected possible Tuberculosis in their rhinos. Although this has not been completely verified, they required all rhinos going into rehabilitation from 2016 on to be isolated. As a result, the rhinos that came into the CFW sanctuary after 2016 – “Quarantine Rhinos” – could not go into the stronghold with the rhinos that came in before 2016, known as “Clean Rhinos”. The weaned Quarantine Rhinos also need extensive acreage to roam free. BRR donated the second stronghold, which enabled these rhinos to be released from their restricted lives and have real rhino lives in an area set aside for them.
This garden is a prolific provider of beautiful vegetables, including cabbage, peppers, mielies, chillies, butternut, which are shared between the guards, the volunteers, and some VIP guests also. The long term idea is to grow enough vegetables so that they can also be sold at the Nelspruit market to raise extra funds for the sanctuary
We are thrilled to be funding our third stronghold fence. This will surround the “clean rhino” stronghold, making it 100 times more effective. Matthew Grossman has launched the Stronghold Challenge: inviting donors to donate, and he will match all donations to $15,000!
The electrified perimeter fence that has been installed will enable the release of the three remaining black rhinos and all the “quarantine rhinos” into a huge, wild area. Once again BRR has funded a stronghold area, where the rhinos can be free and safe!
In our ongoing commitment to the babies and their well being, we continue to donate money toward rhino milk. This is a very expensive expense for the sanctuaries, so our contribution here is always very appreciated. We are happy to donate to the beautiful young babies at RPF, Mia, Mickey and Kassie.
BRR received the generous amount of $3000 from Cindy A Lee, founder of Wags and Menace Make a Difference, which enables us to fund milk for 7 months for Ribbon, her “boyfriend” Lazuli and the young Arthur. Thank you Cindy A. Lee!
arrived at the sanctuary injured and severely dehydrated. An extensive treatment plan was put in place to bring the rhino back to health and well being. BRR was able to step up and pay for all her IV medications.
Winters in the Lowveld of South Africa, where the rhinos of the CFW sanctuary reside, are frigid! The guards are out watching over the rhinos in the freezing winter nights and early mornings. Their comfort is essential, and the better off they are, the better off the rhinos are also.
The purchase of ear tags and a wide band receiver helps to relay information from the black rhinos that will soon be going into the “Quarantine” stronghold. These tags will not only keep tabs on the rhino’s whereabouts, but also enable the CFW team to amass vital data of their whereabouts and behaviors.
Diesel is the superstar tracker dog at Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary. Thanks to Catherine Brown’s generous monthly donations, Diesel’s needs are met.
BRR helped keep Acacia as comfortable as possible during his last days by covering his medical costs.
CFW received intel that an incursion into the property was in the planning stages. They reached out to BRR to help keep the rhinos safe. BRR donated the funds for electrified perimeter fencing for all of the big bomas. This electrified fencing keeps rhinos safe inside, and poachers OUT.
An endlessly evolving anti-poaching plan is the only way to keep our rhinos safe. The Rhino Pride sanctuary has state of the art electrified fencing and alarm signals, but guards remain a necessity to protect the 50+ rhinos in their care.
The Intensified Protection Zone (IPZ), a 350 hectare area, allows rhinos to be wild and free from human interaction. This cutting-edge conservation fulfills the final release of Care for Wild’s mission. There are 20 rhinos in the IPZ at present. Carrying capacity is 100 adult breeding rhinos. This holds the real potential of bringing big numbers of rhinos back into the world!
Rhino babies are protected and kept warm by their mothers for up to three years. Night pens provide an important part of their rehabilitation, keeping them warm at night, especially during the freezing winter months. A night pen for the 3 young black rhinos – Phoebe, Ratu and Badger – has these three precious rhinos safe and warm.
In an ongoing commitment to guard comfort and health at Care for Wild sanctuary, BRR continues to support what is needed for them. A refrigerator and stove has been purchased and installed in the main guard house.
The mounted unit is a force multiplier in the anti-poaching team, working to keep the rhinos in the reserve safe. Baby Rhino Rescue funded the purchase of goods that will help the team be more functional and efficient.
BRR funded the implementation of an irrigation project in the quarantine bomas at CFW sanctuary. Bomas are cleaned on a daily basis to ensure the health and welfare of these compromised animals. Water is used to wash the night pens where the orphans sleep at night. The new system will channel water into pipes underground and into a treatment area away from the bomas. This will ensure that the bomas are more hygienic and if there are heavy rains, there is little soil erosion.
Sabiva came into the CFW sanctuary very badly injured, with a deep gunshot wound to her shoulder. It had taken ten days to locate her so her health was compromised. She was dehydrated and stressed. In addition to providing her with fortified milk, she was also given Omepracote, which aids in the prevention of stomach ulcers due to stress.
Baby rhinos need fortified milk. This is to replace what they would naturally get from their mother. It is imperative that a baby rhino stay strong and well. This donation went to CFW as an “unrestricted donation” for the general line of baby rhino care. Vitamins and other supplements fall within that designation.
Lofo came into the sanctuary very badly injured, with deep machete wounds on his back. He was compromised, and it was essential to keep him well. Twinkle had scars on her back from where machete wounds had healed. It was clear that both of these baby rhinos had been through terrible trauma and were experiencing stress. Omepracote is a medication given to these rhinos that helps with the prevention of stomach ulcers.
This donation went to CFW as an “unrestricted donation” for the general line of baby rhino care. Milk for Zac and Twinkle falls within that designation.
Jenny is the youngest rhino at Rhino Pride sanctuary. She requires six bottles of milk a day for the next year. This is a large, ongoing expense for the sanctuary.
Arthur was only a month when his mother was poached. Pics of the little calf lying by his slain mother circled the globe and donations poured in! Arthur is still a baby and requires 6 bottles of milk a day for the next year. This is a large, ongoing expense for the sanctuary.
Rhino babies love their milk and in the wild, nurse for up to three years. Special formula rhino milk is a combination of vitamins, minerals, and proteins – everything a baby rhino needs to flourish. Getting a traumatized orphan to accept milk that is now coming in a bottle is the beginning of the rehabilitation process.
The drone flies the perimeter of the property, relaying info. This enables a continual overview of the property, immediately relaying information when anything appears suspect or problematic.
The oxpecker bird was indigenous to the CFW area but disappeared around thirty years ago. Oxpeckers and rhinos have a mutualistic relationship – the oxpecker feeds on the ticks that may otherwise cause skin irritation and pain for the rhino.
Being part of an anti-poaching unit is very dangerous. Poachers carry AK-47s. Providing the guards at Rhino Pride sanctuary with bullet proof vests gives them essential protection and security while out on patrol.
The night pen in the quarantine area at the CFW sanctuary was originally made of poles and had to be replaced. The new night pen, constructed with bricks and concrete, will keep the quarantine rhinos warm at night.
Cabins for the guards at Care for Wild sanctuary were built through the generosity of the Aryn and Matthew Grossman Foundation. The guards now have secure cabins to relax and sleep in when not on duty. Keeping the guards comfortable with excellent accommodation and food is a top priority.
Didi was purchased by the Spirit Wildlife Fund through Baby Rhino Rescue. She was a highly effective and driven anti-poaching dog. Nothing escaping her. All the other K9s were in awe of Didi! Sadly, she was rammed by a bushbuck’s sharp horns while on duty early one morning. She succumbed to her injuries. She is remembered as the greatest of the K9s.
Fire was purchased and trained specifically for her work protecting the rhinos at the CFW sanctuary. Fire has been doing amazingly well with human scent tracking, and has been outperforming all the other K9 members in article detection. Fire has a keen nose for bullets, gun powder and firearms. Who says guns aren’t for girls?!
With a generous donation from Catherine Brown, we were able to purchase Diesel. Catherine also sponsors Diesel’s monthly upkeep. BRR donor funding provided what was needed for in-depth training for Diesel. So effective is he as a tracker dog that he led the guards to a poacher’s den, where 5 poachers were apprehended. Diesel is being used as a stud dog, in the hope that his genes will yield other such effective trackers.
BRR funded the purchase of two horses, Midnight and Bravo, to the CFW sanctuary, enabling the mounted patrol to grow. The patrol needed saddles too, so BRR funded five new saddles for the patrol. This enables the guards on horseback to be comfortable and safe as they go about their duties across the large area of the sanctuary.
A state of the art dog run, complete with sanitation and cabin for the handlers was built for Fire and Didi. The dog run has a sleeping area plus exercise run, to keep the dogs comfortable and stimulated while not on patrol.
A dog run, complete with sanitation and cabins for the handlers, was built for Diesel and the other K9s. The dog run has sleeping and shade areas for the dogs, as well as areas to run. This keeps the dogs active and comfortable while not on patrol.
The anti-poaching units keep the rhinos protected. Guards need to be conversant with the use of weapons and be able to work as a team with different responsibilities. The Veterans for Wildlife trainers are all army vets with direct combat experience in Afghanistan and Iraq. They trained the guards in advanced artillery and target practice.
Two highly trained Rottweilers were purchased for the Rhino Pride sanctuary. These dogs keep the 50 plus rhinos under protection.
BRR purchased watches for all the 26 guards at the sanctuary. These are strong, reliable, water proof watches. It means the guards can do their work effectively, show up promptly, and rely on one another. It makes the rhinos all the safer.
Nike South Africa donated shoes for all the guards at both Care for Wild and Rhino Pride sanctuaries as a Christmas gift, through a BRR initiative.