|Founded in September 2011 (in response to the escalating scourge of rhino poaching), the Rhino Survival Trust is working towards a far reaching, sustainable solution for the two African rhino species, by establishing a rhino wildlife sanctuary and a long term intensive breeding program in order to assist in preserving their gene pool and increasing their population to the point of relocating them to approved areas where their numbers have been depleted.
In addition to conservation, rhino relocation, as well as rhino and other species breeding programs, our win-win solution encompasses rhino research, education, creation of employment, community upliftment and eco-tourism. It even extends to conserve indigenous biodiversity and contribute towards combatting climate change.
Since 2009, poaching statisticsin South Africa have increased dramatically and continue to rise at an alarming rate. Various factors contribute to this, including the fact that rhino populations have been systematically wiped out North of this country, to the extent that two species were recently reported extinct (Javan Rhino in October 2011 and West African Black Rhino in November 2011).
Underlying this crisis is the demand for rhino horn fed by Far Eastern medicine and its ingrained belief in the mythical properties of rhino horn, which has recently expanded to fabled claims that it cures cancer. Given the centuries-old nature of this belief system, education is essential, but time is required to bring understanding.
In the interim, due to the fact that rhino horn regrows at a rate of 8-10cm each year and can be harvested without harming the rhino, we recognise the potential for ethical, legal trade in rhino horn to counter poaching, provided that such trade can be managed in an accountable, effective way.
The Rhino Survival Trust aims to be the internationally recognized centre of excellence in the breeding and conservation of rhino and their ecosystems. We will work with all stakeholders to develop best practices in research, education and sustainable land use to benefit all species, including people.
The Rhino Survival Trust has been conceived to partner with key investors and utilize donations, which will be applied to the following –
“The Ark” Project
A primary objective of the Trust is to acquire an existing wildlife ranch in South Africa and establish it as a rhino survival sanctuary. Through “Operation Rhino”, we aim to grow black and white rhino populations to a sustainable number within 5 years, enabling us to relocate rhino to other reserves and private rhino owners in southern Africa, to repopulate traditional ranges where they once occurred.
This project incorporates a far-reaching, sustainable solution that encompasses conservation, education, employment creation, community upliftment and eco-tourism.
The Trust may also support activities which –