rhino south africa
Image: Graeme Mitchley

There has been an outpouring of grief, kindness, money and love for Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage in South Africa, which suffered an unprecedented attack in the early hours of Tuesday morning – when their staff were taken hostage, assaulted, and made to witness the merciless killing of two of their beloved rhino orphans in front of them.

Today Thula Thula said: “The team is still a understandably under a lot of stress, but are showing amazing resilience and unwavering dedication to seamlessly care for the remaining orphans. All the babies are doing well, including chubby little Charlie [the hippo] and our ever vigilant, Duma. We are humbled by all the messages of support as well as donations that have been streaming in from all over the world. Again, if we are slow to respond, please be patient… we will get there…”

As over half a million rand has poured in from donations around the world – made through fundraising pages set up to beef up security for the survivors (see details below) – and as two of the alleged poaching suspects face court tomorrow – here are some thoughts from MEGAN CARR, founder of Rhinos in Africa

rhino south africa
Image: Graeme Mitchley

Our biggest and worst fears were realised on Tuesday when we were informed of the brutal attack on a Rhino orphanage and sanctuary.

The investigation is well underway and we do not want to compromise it in anyway. We want all the culprits to be found.

The Rhino babies living at this orphanage, like all similar sanctuaries, have all survived the most horrendous experience. Their mothers have all been savagely killed for their horns.

Baby rhino with poached mother in South Africa
Source: FB/Take-a-stand-against-rhino-poaching-197993673565095/

These survivors have been lovingly cared for by trained carers. Nursed often hour after hour from the brink of death. Not always injured they are certainly all traumatized. Months of intensive treatment and love are invested in these gentle animals. They have been encouraged to eat and thrive and find peace.

Photo by filmmaker Susan Scott, from rhino poaching documentary Stroop

The carers are often volunteers, often foreigners living in close uncomfortable confinement with these babies. Even the smallest of the survivors weigh a lot. Carers sleeping side by side in stables on the floor until their desperate cries diminish. The extreme difficulty of this work of love of these volunteers cannot be underestimated.

This sanctuary like most of the orphanages was well hidden and not open to the general public. This would have been a well planned attack. The security would have been tight. We can only imagine the sheer horror that unfolded.

The volunteers we know were beaten up they would have been frightened to death. They would have fought to save the babies that they cared for. Unimaginable violence would have ensued.

We know two babies were attacked brutally for their tiny, tiny horns. They would have had no where to run or hide.

We have seen the horrific injuries that these so called humans have unleashed on Rhinos in their desperation for horn. The cries and noise would be enough to traumatize the most hardened criminal for life.

South Africa where do we go from here?

What new hell have we entered into? Where our most vulnerable are violently attacked, human and animal.

The deaths of these Rhino orphans must not be in vain. These criminals must not go unpunished with a mere slap on the wrist.

We need urgent change in this country. Change of intent, change of law. We need to set an example.

We want to acknowledge everyone involved with the care of vulnerable animals. Vulnerable animals of this corrupt society that we are now accustomed to. This not so great new South Africa.

A message from Allison, Thomson, founder of Outraged SA Citizens Against Poaching
Source: Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage



Please use Thula Thula’s recommended fundraising avenues, which include:

  • To make a secure donation directly to the Fundimvelo Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage. (A reminder the Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage is managed by The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization a registered NPO):

Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization banking details as listed:
ACC: 62396329073
*** Please put as EFT reference « rhino orphanage » with your name *** Note that for overseas bank, the Swift code FIRNZAJJ is necessary

More options here or visit Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage at: