Home » Thanks to 16 Special Heroes Saving Our Rhino… Saving SA’s Heritage

Thanks to 16 Special Heroes Saving Our Rhino… Saving SA’s Heritage

The world joined on 22 September to raise awareness for the rhino on World Rhino Day. It also awoke to the news that SIX more rhino had been killed overnight in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park in South Africa… a stark reminder that this iconic animal, which has roamed the earth for over 40 million years, may be less than […]

The world joined on 22 September to raise awareness for the rhino on World Rhino Day. It also awoke to the news that SIX more rhino had been killed overnight in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park in South Africa… a stark reminder that this iconic animal, which has roamed the earth for over 40 million years, may be less than 10 years away from extinction in the wild.


Today we’d like to give thanks to those who are doing everything they can to turn the tide on rhino poaching, to change the statistics (see below) and save our wildlife, our heritage…

Our Thanks Go To…

1. Local celebrities

… like the Sharks rugby team who have joined forces with Great Plains Conservation, &Beyond to support the Rhinos Without Borders initiative and raise awareness about the rhino poaching crisis.


2. Private rhino owners

…like Ayesha Cantor, who is also an administrator on the facebook page of Outraged South African Citizens Against Poaching (Oscap), for spending more money and time than you often have trying to protect the rhino on a daily basis.

As someone who witnesses the rhino crisis firsthand, Ayesha says “South Africa cannot rest on its laurels and continue to trot out statements like ‘South Africa has a proud conservation record…’ while the stench of thousands of rotting rhino carcasses lies across our land and fills our nostrils…” and calls for more accurate rhino poaching stats to be reported.

More: www.oscap.co.za

3. Documentary film makers

…like Bonne de Bod and Susan Scott for working tirelessly on ‘Stroop’ to bring the rhino poaching story to us and the rest of the world, filming horrific heartbreaking scenes… and still managing to find hope in the madness.


4. International celebrities, sports stars and royalty

…like Uma Thurman, Prince Harry (who worked with anti-rhino poaching teams in South Africa), and Prince William, Jackie Chan, David Beckham and Yao Ming, for using your celebrity to shine a spotlight on Africa’s poaching crisis.

5. Global organisations

…like Born Free who are currently campaigning against the legalisation of rhino horn trade, promoting better protection for wild rhinos against poaching, and making education efforts in Vietnam and China to reduce demand among consumers.

And to all those 3,500 delegates who will be attending the CITES COP17 conference in Johannesburg from today to 5 October.

More: www.bornfree.org.uk (and also thanks to WildAid, the African Wildlife Foundation, Rhinos without Borders, the Wildlife Conservation Society and CHANGE.)

6. Business people who put their billions where their mouth is

…like Howard G. Buffett, son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett – for your R255-million to combat poaching which has made a huge difference in the Kruger National Park; and business tycoon Richard Branson for your ongoing mission, including visiting Vietnam, to raise awareness and change minds in a country where rhino horns are “cherished for medical properties that simply do not exist and also increasingly as a status symbol”. Branson believes: “When the buying stops, the killing will, too.”

7. Veterinarians

… like Dr William Fowlds, and Dr Dave Cooper who recently wrote on his Facebook page ‘Wild Vet’ that after a brutal fortnight of 14 rhino deaths in KwaZulu-Natal, it was “one of the lowest points in my life as a wildlife vet”. He said: “I don’t think it is possible to explain to somebody who hasn’t experienced this nightmare, what even one death scene does to you. It’s traumatic and haunting, and cannot ever be erased from your mind. I’ve attended over 400!!”

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

Read Dr Dave Cooper’s full post here. 

8. Personal crusaders

… like Jamie Joseph, founder of Saving the Wild, and one of the bravest woman battling rhino poaching, campaigning to expose corruption within the legal system – managing to convince Advocate Thuli Madonsela to get on board too, and risking your own life to save a species. Jamie is currently fighting for a conviction of alleged rhino poaching ‘kingpin’ of Zululand, Dumisani Gwala.
Jamie and Thuli Madonsela
Jamie Joseph, Thuli Madonsela and Zululand community

More:www.savingthewild.com, twitter.com/savingthewild_

9. Corporations

…who sponsor and support anti-poaching organisations and programmes. The business clout and money from you is invaluable in fighting this war on poachers who operate from within sophisticated crime syndicates. If you’re a corporation, especially in South Africa, who is not yet involved in protecting our wildlife – please consider it…

10. Governments

… like those in South Africa, China, Vietnam and Tanzania. You may be trying your best, and we’re grateful for the good you are trying to do. But please try even harder. Lift your game. Aim for excellence. Please adopt a zero tolerance attitude. Please increase prison sentences. Please clamp down on corruption (see #8).

11. Conservationists

… like 82-year-old Dr Jane Goodall, for spending about 300 days of your year travelling and encouraging us to join you in helping end wildlife trafficking. Dr Goodall needs less than 8,000 more signatures to reach her 300,000 target in a petition to help save all trafficked wildlife… please visit the link below.

Sign the petition here: www.change.org/p/help-jane-goodall-end-wildlife-trafficking

© George Logan
© George Logan | Born Free

12. Rangers, police, and dogs in the K-9 units

… and of course their families. Thank you for putting your lives on the line, for making such a difference in the Kruger. Please keep it up. Please adopt the same principals in KwaZulu-Natal which is becoming the next killing field.

This is a thanks to all the good people at the South African Police Service, the Departments of Justice and Correctional Services, State Security and Defence and Military Veterans, and SANParks, to the Green Scorpions and to the awesome Black Mamba rhino anti-poaching unit.

Original pencil drawing by Alan Rudnicki, plus app version
Original pencil drawing by Alan Rudnicki, plus app version

13. Wildlife sanctuaries

… like Louise Joubert’s SanWild Wildlife Trust which receives no government funding. Thank you for never giving up on the uphill battle to raise money to help wild animals in need, and for your latest initiative to provide private intensive protective zones to save the rhino.

More: www.SanWild.org

14. South African expats and foreigners

… like all of those who march and donate from afar, and South Africans abroad like Ray Dearlove in Australia for your Australian Rhino Project, and doing all you can to preserve the species by establishing a breeding herd of rhinos in Australia as an insurance population for the world.

The plan is to import 80 rhinos from South Africa to Australia over a four-year period, with the ultimate goal of reintroducing the rhinos and their progeny to their natural habitat in Africa when the situation permits. With a rhino being poached every 6 hours, Dearlove believes the situation is dire and plans to evacuate rhinos to an Australian safe haven is critical. Funding is crucial. If you can help, please visit the site below.

More: theaustralianrhinoproject

15. Local and international tourists to our parks

… because the fees you pay to visit South Africa’s incredible national parks help in protecting our wildlife. Please visit as often as you can… and encourage ALL your friends to do the same.


16. And lastly, thank you to YOU…

Thank you. The fact that you are reading this means you care. Please share the rhino story whenever you can. Spread the word. Let the world know.


There are probably many others who we’ve omitted to thank…but that’s the thing. There are, thank goodness, so many people who ARE doing something constructive to turn the tide on rhino poaching. That in itself is cause for celebration.

Saving the rhino from poachers is a team effort. And there are more of us than of them.

Together we can do this. We can save the rhino.

And one day we’ll proudly tell our grandchildren how we worked together to save South Africa’s wildlife heritage.


Those rhino poaching stats, by the way, include:

  • A rhino is killed on average every six hours for their horn.
  • A kilo of rhino horn can allegedly reach $100,000 per kilo, more than double the price of gold or cocaine.
  • Less than 20,000 southern white rhinos and 5,000 black rhinos are left in the wild – spread across 12 countries, mostly in South Africa.
  • Poachers killed almost 6,000 African rhinos since 2008.
  • Poaching of rhinos went up 9,000% from 2007-2014… from 13 in 2007 to 1,1215 in 2014.
  • The poaching industry has been estimated to turn over as much as $20 billion a year.