How this gift helps the planet
Since 2007, rhino deaths from poaching started to increase at an alarming rate. In the first 10 months of 2011, a record 341 rhinos were killed in South Africa alone. Very few African rhinos now survive outside of protected areas or sanctuaries.
Poaching has spiked recently as a result of the opening of new black markets for rhino horn. The biggest is Vietnam where rhino horn is now touted as a cure for cancer, despite the lack of any supporting medical evidence. Rhinos went extinct in Vietnam last year as a result of poaching and habitat loss.
African rhino poaching is conducted by sophisticated criminal syndicates equipped with the latest high-tech weaponry like helicopters and night-vision scopes. To help rangers keep up, we’re providing them with aircraft, heat-sensing equipment, and sniffer dogs. Your gift can help ensure that DNA samples collected at crime scenes are analysed so prosecutors can tie poachers to their crimes and get convictions in court.
We also hope to start a rhino registry with DNA information for every animal so that if a smuggler or seller is caught with a horn they too can be punished as severely as the poachers. To save the endangered species like rhinos we must also convince those using rhino horn or other products from threatened animals to change their choices. We’ll be educating consumers and those involved in horn trade about the consequences of their illegal actions, which include fines and jail time.