Nonprofit-LiveWe rescue orphaned rhinos that have had their moms killed by poachers. Ask us anything!
Dec 4th 2016 by Bafana_Bafana • 32 Questions • 4760 Points
Please visit our website at: http://careforwild.co.za/
For larger donations that can go through a registered 501(c)(3) charity please PM /u/Bafana_Bafana
To Volunteer: http://workingwithrhinos.org
/u/crossborderman will be answering questions as well as she also works at the sanctuary!
Have you every had a dangerous encounter with a poacher? How did it end?
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!
Just wanting to make a difference.. If you are willing to find a way, you will!
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!
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!
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!
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?
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..
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?
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..
Rhino is fairly broad...are there specific Rhinos you work with?
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!
You mention volunteering, but what are the chances of getting a job with this and what kind of professions do you require currently?
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!
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.
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!
Will you post an update video on the Rhino calf you rescued? She's so cute!
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!
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
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 :(
What do you think the situation for rhinos will be like in 50 years from now?
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.
What does the healing process look like? How long until she can be released back into the wild?
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! :)
I'm reading everything you have written in Terri Irwin's voice, how does this make you feel?
Do you guys only rescue motherless rhinos? What about fatherless rhinos
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 :)
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?
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!
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)
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.