Awareness, Giving Back, Topic of the Day, Topics, Travel|August 18, 2011 1:19 pm

Protect our Precious Pachyderms

Such a precious creature

It’s hard to believe and extremely sad to think about. Africa’s rhinos are being slaughtered at a rate of almost 1 per day.
The same species that fought its way back from the brink of extinction in the early 70’s faces the same threat once more.There is no doubt that the world would be much poorer for the loss of these majestic creatures, but how do we put a stop to the unprecendented poaching and give them a chance for survival?
Most of us, in our everyday lives, don’t go near a game reserve – unless we’re lucky enough to live on/ near one or to go on holiday to one.

We lack the skills and tools to go out and fight these poachers one on one – though many of us feel we would certainly like a chance to give them a taste of their own medicine.
It’s left to a small and dedicated number of wildlife conservationists throughout the continent to stem the seemingly endless flow of blood. The largely thankless, highly dangerous and often heart-wrenching job continues day in and out while we continue with our city lives.

One of these organisations is the Chipembere Rhino Foundation – a non-profit organization established in November 2010 after the Amakhala Game Reserve lost two rhinos in one week to poaching. ‘Chipembere’ means ‘rhinoceros’ in Shona -a fitting name in that one of the murdered breeding bulls was known as ‘Chippie’. The other bull’s name was Isipho, meaning ‘gift’ in Xhosa. His mother arrived and unbeknown to the reserve staff, was pregnant. The birth of this rhino male took them all by surprise but Isipho grew into a beautiful and proud rhino and he was slated as their future breeding bull.

Majestic & powerful

These two prized and loved animals are sorely missed by the Amakhala Game Reserve which is why they are adamant that these animals have not died in vain. The Chipembere Rhino Foundation is committed to remembering them for their legacy, through their prodigy and the foundation.
On next Tuesday’s episode of Top Billing, local music stars Freshlyground will spend time at the Amakhala Game Reserve after they pledged to lend their support in raising awareness to the cause. Freshlyground have become ambassadors for the foundation and hope to raise awareness through social media and through their concerts for this important initiative.

Helping the Rhinos

Rhino conservation currently has two key elements – increasing numbers and the fight against poaching. Donations received through the Chipembere Rhino Foundation will go directly towards the ongoing conservation and anti-poaching efforts on the reserve and will contribute towards the various veterinary procedures including DNA and blood sampling and micro-chipping, other costs associated with Rhino conservation such as darting and helicopters.
The money will also be used to fund a dedicated anti-poaching team as well as gate guard security and overall reserve security, vehicle maintenance and diesel costs relating to rhino monitoring and to purchase anti-poaching equipment including ammunition, security vests and night vision goggles.
Lastly, the foundation will pledge to continue the ongoing campaign to create awareness and spread the word on the plight of Africa’s rhinos.
Get involved by making a donation today and sharing the Chipembere Rhino Foundation story with others who may be able to contribute too.

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