Our Rhino’s continue to be saved!

CN 2013 cheque handover 3


Message below from Sheelagh Antrobus of Project Rhino KZN:
Dear Dawid (and all at Crown National who have embraced the rhino poaching crisis and worked so hard to raise funds through the partnership between our two organisations)
Thank you for continuing to support us with a further R90,000 raised through the sales of your Centenary range of boerewors, droewors, biltong and spices during 2013. Our partnership with Crown National is extremely valuable to Project Rhino KZN and we deeply appreciate your ongoing commitment to our efforts to fight back against the growing threats to the endangered white and black rhinos under our collective care.

It gives me great pleasure to report back on how we have effectively utilised your first donation of R85,857.30 (received 13 February 2013), which helped us to transform our fledgling aerial surveillance efforts into a well-developed anti-poaching programme – the Zululand Anti-Poaching Wing (ZAP-Wing) – and definitely helped to keep KZN’s rhino poaching losses below 2013’s national average.
KZN has the largest number of rhino in South Africa after the Kruger National Park, with the majority found in northern KZN (Zululand), close to the borders with Mozambique and Swaziland. Unlike the Kruger bloc, they are spread out over +26 disparate government, private and community-owned reserves, which are intermingled with sprawling rural communities that house over one million people.
In 2013 KZN lost 80 rhinos, 14 more than 2012’s tally of 66 – a 20% increase. However, this is a significant reduction from the 100% increase that took place between 2011 and 2012. In comparing the rate of rhino poaching in KZN with other similarly affected provinces between 2012 and 2013, we seem to faring better than average: KZN, Kruger and NW provinces were the only regions to record a noteworthy reduction in the expected year-on-year percentage increase in rhino deaths. Cautiously, we hope this is a good sign. Arrests of rhino poachers and syndicate members also increased: over 58 people arrested in KZN during 2013—far more than the 20 arrested in 2012.
Statistics only give a glimpse and don’t tell the full story; for example, they don’t show the number of poaching attempts thwarted – and these have been numerous. ZAP-Wing played an integral role in this: in the words of one reserve manager, “Every ZAP-Wing flight over my game reserve saves the life of at least one rhino – two if it happens to be a cow and a calf”.

Warm regards

Sheelagh and all at Project Rhino KZN

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