This World Rhino Day, we’re joining people around the world to take action to protect rhinos from poaching.
The heartbreaking reality is one rhino is killed every six hours.
Worth more than gold and cocaine on the illegal black market, rhino horn is incorrectly thought to have medicinal properties which is leading to the species being killed at an alarming rate.
Unless we act now, experts are predicting rhinos will be extinct in the next ten years.
That’s why our breeding program is incredibly important in safeguarding this species. Here at Monarto Zoo, we’re proud to have consistently bred Southern White Rhinos, an important contribution to securing the future of this near-threatened species. We are also one of only two Australian zoos that house the magnificent Black Rhino.
As well as breeding and caring for rhinos, we are also working with The Australian Rhino Project to build a rhino sanctuary at Monarto Zoo by relocating up to thirty threatened rhinos from South Africa to Monarto Zoo where they will be protected.
Taking the issue of poaching by its horn, The Australian Rhino Project aims to help maintain a viable rhino insurance population that may ultimately allow for the repatriation of the rhinos back to their natural habitat when it is safe to do so.
But our support for rhino conservation does not stop there.
Since 2011, we have been supporting rhinos in Africa through our work with The Northern Rangelands Trust in northern Kenya. During this time, Black Rhinos have been reintroduced back into Sera after previously being poached to extinction in the community lands of northern Kenya.
We have donated more than $156,000 (AUD) to support a community-led ranger program that patrols the Sera Conservancy, one of 33 conservancies managed by The Northern Rangelands Trust to prevent poaching and livestock theft.
This includes financially supporting 36 rangers who provide security to both humans and wildlife by paying for their wages, providing life insurance and funding education programs for the children of rangers lost in the line of duty.
Not only has our conservation support ensured better security for wildlife, we’re also boosting the economic livelihood of the local community and improving living standards.
Adelaide and Monarto Zoo sell beautifully decorated beadwork produced by local women. The income that women receive through the sale of beadwork has benefits for both the community and wildlife; it provides an alternative income that improves health and nutrition, helps pay for children’s’ schooling and reduces the communities’ reliance on livestock, leaving more resources for the native wildlife. Since 2011, we have raised more than $80,000 (AUD) which has been returned to the women and communities.
By simply buying a handcrafted Beads for Wildlife souvenir next time you visit Adelaide or Monarto Zoos, you can help provide relief for wildlife and support these communities half a world away.
Zoos SA’s rhino conservation work extends beyond the Sera Conservancy. Since 2009 we have also been been raising funds to support the Honorary Rangers in Kruger National Park in their fight to save rhinos through an annual tour to Southern Africa organised by Zoos SA. All monies raised from the camp are used to buy modern equipment needed to try and give an edge to the rangers in their fight against rhino poaching. From these tours we estimate that we have contributed over $60,000 towards their fundraising efforts.
These are a few examples of how Zoos SA is actively fighting to save rhinos from extinction. As a conservation charity, it’s only with the support of people like you that we are able to continue this important work!