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Q:

Have you every had a dangerous encounter with a poacher? How did it end?

A:

Yes! We had one of our rhinos, Sabie, poached some years ago. It didn't take our intelligence team long to work out who was responsible.

The culprits were arrested, and when in court, one threatened to break out and kill the police officer, the judge, and one of our members. In that order!

He did break out that day, and went on to shoot said police officer. He emptied an entire magazine into him. Thankfully our contacts within our special investigating unit were able to recapture him, and he is now behind bars!


Q:

Hope that guy stays behind bars for the rest of his life.

A:

We hope so too!


Q:

I hope it's not a bad question to ask, you said he shot the police officer: is he okay?

A:

No. Unfortunately he was killed..


Q:

Damn that is really sad. Even after those threats they didn't figure he would make an escape attempt? Was he not in handcuffs and sent somewhere behind bars after the guilty ruling? How the heck could he escape and go on to kill that officer all in the same day?

A:

He broke out of the vehicle in transit, and then killed the police office that evening in his house..


Q:

How did you get into saving rhinos?

A:

Just wanting to make a difference.. If you are willing to find a way, you will!


Q:

Why did they shoot the calf? Was it out of pure disregard for the animal or could the calf still pose a risk to them? The mom was clearly the target, right?

Thanks for the work you all are doing!

A:

The calf still has a horn. Even though it's so small, it's still worth a lot of money! Over and above that, a baby rhino that is seen is a give-away that the mom is likely poached. This will start the search for the carcass, and ultimately the poachers. Extra money and no evidence!


Q:

How's the cute baby unihorn doing?

A:

She's doing really well right now! She's in better condition than the other 3 we received last week.

The drought in SA has really caused a lot of issues. Their mother's milk isn't very nutritious and, they're rather malnourished. This girl on the other hand, is in an otherwise great condition (apart from the gun shot wound). It's an absolute miracle that she was able to survive so long without milk. Normally they don't survive for more than a couple of days, and the hyenas and lions tend to get them!


Q:

What are your opinions on legalizing horn trade? I spend a lot of time with my dad who is also a conservationist in southern Africa, and he believes that legalize s the horn trade, humanly framing horn, and flooding the market is the easiest way to stop rhinos being killed. Do you agree or disagree, and why so?

A:

I can only speak of my own personal opinion but I agree however, as a sanctuary we are neutral on this topic. Our goal is purely to look after the orphaned rhinos, and not to get into that sort of debate taking one side or another!

I do believe that when you look at the main reasons for rhino poaching it isn't the medicinal reasoning that the western media have made it out to be. It has become a status symbol much like shark fin soup. The more rare it gets, the more valuable it becomes, and people are buying it as an investment. If you were to flood the market with horn, much of this is eliminated..


Q:

What are the challenge to feed your Rhino ? Which kind of food do they eat !

How it is for the volunteer ? Do they need to pay for their food/housing etc, or it's part of their volunterring ?

At which age the baby rhino are re-introduce into the wild ? Do the process go well ?

Lastly, what do you think of synthetic rhino horn ?

A:

We feed them milk until they're fully weaned at roughly 14-16 months of age. They're also eating teff and lucerne (different grasses) on a daily basis.

Once weaned they get very little human interaction and are released into the large stronghold where they are closely followed and monitored by highly trained guards.

As for the volunteering, yes.. check out http://workingwithrhinos.org/

The costs include meals, accommodation, airport transfers, support, etc.. They're really good and the money raised plays a big role in funding the sanctuary!


Q:

So... Two questions.

One, have you ever had an aggressive encounter with a poacher?

Secondly, I dont wanna sound gun toting, but are you allowed to use deadly force against poachers, and if so what are the rules of engagement?

A:

I've answered the first question to someone else, so I'll just jump ahead to the second one..

The rules are simple.. You cannot shoot unless first fired upon! Unfortunately the poachers aren't bound by the same rules..


Q:

Rhino is fairly broad...are there specific Rhinos you work with?

A:

Yes, these are white rhinos, and western black rhinos.. The one in the video is a white rhino. You can tell this by the square-lip and the hump of muscle and fat on the back of her neck that supports the weight of the head as white rhinos are grazers eat with their heads low down on the ground!


Q:

Hi, and thanks for all your efforts.

My question is: What happens to all the donations from the public and charity organisations? Do you actually see any of it?

A:

We work closely with a few organisations that do pass on donations, but we have heard of some organisations raising money on our behalf that we have yet to see a cent of.

Please always do your research to make sure that your doantions are actually going where they're supposed to go. You can donate directly to use through our PayPal at http://careforwild.co.za/donate/

Thanks for your kind words!


Q:

You mention volunteering, but what are the chances of getting a job with this and what kind of professions do you require currently?

A:

I guess that depends if you're looking to get into the anti-poaching side, or rehabilitation side of things..

A number of people in the industry started out as volunteers.. Having a qualification in veterinary science, zoology, etc will obviously be a help, but there are other ways to be involved that don't require any qualifications!


Q:

Thanks for your awesome work! I'm wondering why the poachers would have shot the baby rhino? The horn didn't look so big on it, and they didn't even bother actually killing it. Just curious about their possible motives.

A:

Well they took a pretty good shot at it! That was a .375 shot, so the intention was definitely to kill it. Unfortunately, most of the time they succeed!

They'll kill it for that little bit of horn, and that the baby can lead anti-poaching units to find and catch the poachers!


Q:

I was part of the dedicated team looking after all the orphan rhinos while also managing the amazing volunteers that give up their time to help as well! Right now, I'm helping the Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary with trying to secure donations so they can continue their work of protecting the world's largest rhino orphanage! - Morgan (Care for Wild Africa)

A:

Who do I send proof to in order to verify post?


Q:

The mods have posted the link in a message above. I am including it here

Mods message

A:

Thanks, done!


Q:

Will you post an update video on the Rhino calf you rescued? She's so cute!

A:

Of course we will!!

We have a few dozen orphaned rhinos that all have remarkable stories and have all had their moms killed by poachers.. Some have even more remarkable stories than this latest one!


Q:

Can a rhinos horn be removed without killing the rhino? Could efforts be made to protect rhinos by encouraging poachers to sedate and remove horns rather than kill rhinos? Obviously the goal is to have poachers not hurt rhinos or take their horns at all but at the end of the day we want to keep them alive before we want to stop poachers

A:

Yes!

There is a nerve about 3 inches high (imagine a tooth).. Above that and it's just like a fingernail. You can clip it and it doesn't harm them in any way. Unfortunately, those 3 inches are worth a lot of money, so goodluck trying to convince poachers to leave it :(


Q:

I know that I am really moved by such things. And you guys must be seeing this animal abuse everyday. Apart from getting used to it, do you or your team mates break down emotionally every once in a while?

Sorry if it sounds like a stupid question.

Thank you for your amazing work. I would like to donate and help if that is possible. Kindly share any details.

A:

Yeah, we've had some rhinos that didn't make it. It really brakes you emotionally..

You're more than welcome to head over to YouCaring.com/Rhino or http://careforwild.co.za/donate/ to donate to us. It really is appreciated.. Thank you!


Q:

What do you think the situation for rhinos will be like in 50 years from now?

A:

At this rate, it'll be in the same place in 50 years time as it will be in 10 years time... With no rhinos at all.


Q:

What does the healing process look like? How long until she can be released back into the wild?

A:

Well her prognosis seems good for now!

She's about 10 months old already and will be fully weaned off her milk at 14-16 month of age. Then she can be moved into the large stronghold which with mean roaming around freely being a rhino! :)


Q:

Are dealing with injured baby rhinos dangerous? It's not something we typically see so are they dangerous if they attack out of fear or anger?

A:

Yes it can be..

They are immensely strong! I cannot even begin to explain just how strong they are!!!

They don't know people. They don't trust people. Their only prior experience with people is witnessing their moms being killed by people. So the are extremely agitated and stressed when they arrive.. Who can blame them?

It's always important to remember that they are wild animals! They do not get domesticated, and we keep human interaction at an absolute minimum. We feed, and then we get out. It's important that the rhinos get raised by other rhinos, and not by people!


Q:

How did you spot the baby rhino? I can't imagine it's easy to spot from high up in a helicopter. Are there any techniques for scanning the land below, or did you have an idea of where to look?

A:

We had an idea of where she was.. There were some tracks (but most were ruined by the rains) that we were following and generally, they don't venture too far away from their mom's carcass.

In saying that, it still took 8 days to find her using drones, helicopters, planes, microlights, and tracking on foot.. It really isn't easy to find them. It's like finding a needle in a haystack.


Q:

I'm reading everything you have written in Terri Irwin's voice, how does this make you feel?

A:

Honoured :)


Q:

Do you guys only rescue motherless rhinos? What about fatherless rhinos

A:

The fathers are never around when it comes to raising their young!

The calves stay with the cows , and the bulls wonder off to go and make more babies :)


Q:

I'd like to help volunteer over the summer so I'm not missing class during the semester. Do you have a lot of people trying to volunteer during that time and is it difficult to get chosen if you don't have any experience besides your environmental biology classes?

A:

Volunteers aren't chosen based on any particular skill set.. You don't need any qualifications to come volunteer with us. Just as long as you aren't a rhino poacher, you qualify.

We are generally very busy in the American summer, but there is definitely still availability so long in advance.

Email the guys at http://workingwithrhinos.org/ and they'll sort you out!


Q:

How old are you? What was the process you went through to get into this work (application, interviews, training ...)?

How long do you plan to do it? Do you think we can win this fight with poachers?

In addition to donating money, what can a couch potato do to help?

A:

We can win this war! We just need as much support as possible from all stakeholders!!

I plan on doing this indefinitely.. You can help spread the word :)

It might sound simple, but it really goes a long way!

Thanks


Q:

Thanks for doing such an amazing job!

For how long does the orphaned rhinos normally stay with people before released?

A:

They get weaned at 14-16 months old, and then they no longer require human interaction (barring any medical requirements) so they can move into the open areas and just be rhinos..


Q:

How did this become a career for you? Did you begin volunteering or was it based off a degree? I'm very interested in working with an anti-poaching team and would love to know

A:

I began volunteering and it just went from there.. Anti-poaching isn't likely to be something that you can volunteer in tho!


Q:

Hey, i also have a question. I can't really afford the prices for volunteering, however i'd be really interested in doing this or something similar.

Are there any other organizations you know where you get meals etc for free? I'm aware that you can't just feed a lot of people for free and you guys probably don't have a ton of funds either, but i was thinking more along the lines of actual (short-term) work. I'm not afraid to work hard and uninterested in the touristy side of things.

Thanks for reading :)

Edit : just to clarify, im not expecting payment.

A:

Unfortunately I don't :(

But that doesn't mean that there aren't!! Look up as many paces as you can find and start emailing away! If you're determined, you'll find what you're looking for eventually!


Q:

Whos your favorite rhino?

A:

Probably Manji. When he came in he was absolutely tiny (about 50kgs) and had severe machete cuts on his face from the poachers.

He's overcome all that and has turned out to be a remarkable rhino!


Q:

Are most poachers locals hired by others who are in need of money or are they the actual buyers out for a thrill chase? If they are locals, would educating them about the depleting resource help?

(I ask because in Fiji local fishermen were being paid lots of money to illegally kill sharks for shark fin soup, and the Fiji government launched a PSA outlining how Fiji's tourism depends on having a vast variety of sharks and killing them for a few extra $$ is more harm than good)

A:

These poachers that go out and kill the rhinos are being hired by syndicates.. The guys hiring them are making a fortune out of it.