POACHED: the story of 'Geza'
Jul 4, 2012
Meet the unsung heroes of the Rhino poaching crisis
Feb 21, 2012
THERE'S A WAR RAGING….
Over 2,000 rhinos in South Africa have been inhumanely and illegally slaughtered by poachers in the past five years, a financial loss to conservation and the country of an estimated R770 million (US$77million).
PROJECT RHINO KZN was launched on World Rhino Day 2011, by an association of 18 organizations that include reputable conservation NGOs, the provincial conservation authority (Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife), and private game reserves. It has unified the province against rhino poaching, supports on-the-ground operations and coordinates new, region-wide initiatives aimed at eliminating rhino poaching and securing the rhino populations of KwaZulu-Natal. KZN is viewed internationally as the historical heartland of the world’s White rhinos, as well as the incubation province for expanding the Black rhino population. It bears a global expectation to save the rhino from extinction as it already has once before and not to succumb to the catastrophe unfolding daily in other regions of South Africa. Visit www.projectrhinokzn.org for more information.
We urgently need your help! Please see the Project Rhino KZN Wish List for full details of where funding support is most critically needed.
1. The Zululand Anti-Poaching Wing (ZAP-Wing): Launched less than 1 year ago, this aerial anti-poaching programme is already proving its worth. A partnership between Project Rhino KZN and Ezemvelo KZN Willdlife, 26 game reserves (300,000ha) are receiving daily aerial surveillance and reaction support in the event of a rhino poaching. A Cheetah light aircraft, two helicopters and a Bathawk microlight make up the current ZAP-Wing fleet. 3,000 rhino are under ZAP-Wing's protection and evidence is mounting that the permanent presence of the aircraft and helicopters is hindering poaching attempts.
ZAP-Wing survives entirely on donations, especially for the operation of the Cheetah aircraft and maintaining the ZAP-Wing base at Hluhluwe Airfield. We also need to expand aerial surveillance & support to more game reserves and intensify our reaction capabilities with an additional small airplane. "Every ZAP-Wing flight over my game reserve saves the life of at least one rhino; two, if it happens to be a mother with calf," Game Reserve Manager.
1) Cheetah aerial surveillance (+17 game reserves): R499,000 per annum
2) ZAP-Wing base: R15,000 per month
3) Additional aircraft purchase: R1million
Visit the ZAP-Wing website for more information: www.zapwing.org. Please indicate ‘ZAP-Wing’ in the ‘Message to the African Conservation Trust’ section on the Donate Now page.
2. Anti-Poaching Equipment & Resources: Rhino poaching comes in the form of planned, furtive raids by poachers armed with high-calibre weapons, night-vision equipment, getaway vehicles, and backed by vast, well-funded and organised international criminal networks. Rangers are increasingly being targeted – evidenced by the growing number of AK47s found in the possession of poachers, which are carried alongside hunting rifles and axes, in case of interception by anti-poaching units. We have a responsibility to ensure the brave men and women fighting day and night to protect KZN's rhinos are adequately equipped to effectively fight back against poaching incursions.
Examples of equipment needed: body armour, GPS units, portable water-tanks, mobile guard camps, solar-powered battery chargers, gas-stoves, hand-held radios, thermal imaging cameras and camera traps. Every donation helps. Please indicate ‘APU Equipment’ in the Message to the African Conservation Trust’ section on the Donate Now page.
3. Legal Support Fund: After the hard work done by game reserves, anti-poaching units and law-enforcement agencies to track down and arrest poachers – sometimes taking months to do – successful convictions and prison sentences do not necessarily happen. This initiative will provide legal expertise & support to Investigation Officers & State Prosecutors to improve Court convictions and sentencing of rhino poachers & their affiliates. Please indicate ‘Judicial Support’ in the Message to the African Conservation Trust’ section on the Donate Now page.
Please contact us for more information:
Secretariat: Sheelagh Antrobus
Tel: +27 33-3422844