Thanda rages against rhino poaching

Thanda Private Game Reserve is a supporter of World Rhino Day 2011, which was held for the second time on 22 September 2011. The property has played an active role over the years in social responsibility as well as many successful conservation initiatives.

Thanda is committed to the efforts of its associated wildlife organisations to raise awareness of the many conservation issues of KwaZulu-Natal. Thanda and Thanda Foundation are dedicated to educate and inform local communities to protect the wildlife legacy and the biodiversity contained in the area. Thanda works alongside Wildlands Conservation Trust, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Wildlife Act, Space For Elephants and African Impact.

In recognition of World Rhino Day 2011 and the dire situation of the African rhino, Thanda is focusing on fighting the battle to preserve the country’s wildlife heritage and is actively involved in the conservation efforts of Project Rhino. Thanda has been championing and supporting this initiative in multiple ways and is one of the founding members of Project Rhino.

Project Rhino is an association of like-minded organisations allowing collective co-ordination of rhino conservation interventions, which are aimed at eliminating rhino poaching and securing the rhino population in KwaZulu-Natal.

The members of Project Rhino recognise that the work in conserving and protecting rhinos from poaching is symbolic of the threat faced by all wildlife, as they will all benefit from actions taken by Project Rhino. It brings together organisations with a common vision and goal; identifies synergies through an integrated, common approach; and collectively is a representative body that carries powerful leverage ability.

Project Rhino outlines the need to prevent duplication of projects and fund raising events, create a common vision and credibility within the general public, educate the general public by producing generic releases for use by all members, educate rural communities and collaborate, support and promote each member.

The objectives of Project Rhino include: increased intelligence (information and informant networks); increased surveillance (with appropriate technologies, aerial and GPS chips); increased field ranger competence (training); increased advocacy (legal aspects); increased communication sharing (central repository for information); and increased public awareness and education.

As part of a recent game-release programme, Thanda introduced 100 nyala and 15 waterbuck onto the 11 000-hectare private reserve. Thanda is excited to have been granted permits for more rhino and recently acquired and released an undisclosed number of white rhino onto the land. Thanda ensures that it has the constant proactive vigilance of anti-poaching teams to protect the reserve’s wildlife from ruthless poaching operations.

Rhinos are part of the big five animals and are popularly marketed by game reserves throughout southern and eastern Africa but are being viciously and illegally hunted for their horns. Rhino horn is commercially popular in the Asian market for its medicinal applications and uses, and is believed by some to have aphrodisiac properties.

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