Fueled by rising demand in East Asia for the production of traditional Chinese medicine, poachers are the greatest threat facing rhino today. Despite growing awareness and efforts, rhino poaching continues on the rise. During 2014, in South Africa alone a staggering 1,215 rhinos were killed by poachers, that’s one every eight hours.
- Although rhino horns are made up of keratin—the same substance as human fingernails—demand from affluent consumers in Vietnam and China continues to spike for the horns’ supposed medical properties to cure cancer and the common cold, despite there not being a single scientific report or medical claim to support this.
- Since 2008, SA has lost over 4,200 rhinos to poaching. 2014 was a record high year for poaching: over 1,200 rhinos died.
- If the killing continues, we may see rhino deaths overtake rhino births as early as 2016.
- Rhino horns can fetch around $45,000 per pound, with the average horn weighing 15.5 pounds. At a price higher than gold, poachers are highly sophisticated in their tactics and weaponry.
Learn more at savetherhino.org and World Wildlife Fund.
In 2014, we established a partnership with the Gondwana Conservation Foundation to support their Rainbow Rhino Initiative, which is specifically aimed at combating rhino-poaching through skills and technology development. Our great fundraising efforts of $16,000 have led to the establishment of the Project Rhino Charleston anti-poaching base camp at Gondwana Game Reserve. The camp will provide a much-needed facility to continue developing trained personal in the growing battle against rhino poaching. The construction of the camp is planned to be complete in October 2015 with the first Anti-Poaching Unit training modules commencing in November 2015 and Jan 2016. Learn more about their initiative here.
Our 2015 goal is to raise $20,000 to continue to support our very own anti-poaching training camp. We will do this by hosting a huge event in the fall involving top local bands, great food and an amazing venue! Sign up to hear when tickets go on sale!