THE INSTITUTE OF RHINO CRYOGENETICS
First stop the Institute of Rhino Cryogenetics which is dedicated to ensuring the preservation of rhino as well as other endangered species. A key component of this work is collecting viable biopsy samples to then be reverse-engineered into stem cells. Having recently acquired a brand new gas-operated projector (a dart gun to you and I), Dr. Tanya Baber turned to Foxy and Aldo for advice! The morning was spent on the open savannah learning to operate the weapon system: zeroing it a various ranges, coming to terms with the ballistics of the projectile, as well as compensating for wind and other variables. This tool will prove invaluable in the work of the IRC - stay tuned in the near future as Veterans for Wildlife and the IRC deploy to collect real-time samples.
The Waterberg Biosphere Reserve is a South African not-for-profit organisation and UNESCO-recognised biosphere, situated in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Encompassing some 440,000 hectares, the Waterberg Biosphere aims to provide rational, coordinated and mutually-beneficial management to the various state- and privately-owned reserves within its borders.
THE BLACK MAMBAS
Third stop was the Black Mambas who are the world’s first majority-female anti-poaching unit. Established by Transfrontier Africa in 2013, the Black Mambas are responsible for protecting the entire Balule Game Reserve from poachers targeting rhinos and other game.
GREATER KRUGER RESERVE
The fourth stop on the trip was a project partner that is involved with securing the Greater Kruger National Park area. Foxy and Aldo spent two days with the amazing rangers that secure this area, and on one of the patrols saw first hand the devastation wildlife crime is having. The guys came across a dead female white rhino that had been shot, and had left behind a baby orphan rhino. Later in the trip Foxy and Aldo got to meet this baby rhino!
CARE FOR WILD AFRICA
The final stop on this trip was Care for Wild Africa. In the rolling hills of Mpumalanga one can find a unique and invaluable rehabilitation centre that houses and cares for rhinos and other animals orphaned by heartless poachers. Here at Care for Wild Africa, Petronel Nieuwoudt operates a world-class and world-famous program that sets the benchmark in the care of wild animals. Foxy and Aldo spent time learning how the amazing team at Care for Wild Africa look after and rehabilitate orphaned rhino
YOU CAN HELP
This trip was a great success, and went a long way in raising awareness about the actual situation on the ground. There is, however, much more that needs to be done if we are to ensure that none of these amazing animals go extinct. Veterans For Wildlife are working closely with our project partners to aid them in the prevention of wildlife crime. This can only be achieved thanks to our amazing donors and supporters.