Friday, March 6, 2015

PROGRAMME FOR CARE OF INJURED AND ORPHANED RHINO

The South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced a partnership with the Peace Parks Parks Foundation (PPF) as part of the Rhino Protection Programme (RPP) which will see R2.4-million allocated towards assisting with the care of rhino which have been injured and orphaned as a result of rhino poaching. The Kruger National Park has been particularly affected by rhino poaching and in the course of 2014 SANParks rescued 16 rhino orphans, of which 12 went to specialist care and 4 were placed with surrogate mothers in holding bomas managed by SANParks.
The ultimate aim is for the rhino orphans to be integrated back into a normally functioning breeding population. The rhino orphans that are rescued in circumstances where their mothers have been killed by poachers require specialist care as they are generally weak and dehydrated. With the nurturing cycle broken, human intervention is essential to support the rehabilitation of orphaned rhino. Once the rhino orphans have recovered and are grazing, and have been integrated with older rhino, they will be moved to rhino strongholds where they will form part of the breeding population.
Veterinarians and rangers are also regularly confronted with dealing with wounded adult rhino in the Kruger National Park following poaching incidents. Unfortunately many wounded rhino have such severe wounds that they have to be humanely euthanized. If there is a chance, however, that the rhino will recover, then specialist veterinary treatment will be administered, and the rhino released with a tracking collar in order that the rhino can be monitored and follow up treatment administered.
According to Mr Fundisile Mketeni, CEO of SANParks, “We appreciate the support of the Rhino Protection Programme in helping rhinos that have been injured and orphaned as a result of poaching, and supporting our teams of vets and field staff who brave the frontlines of the rhino poaching war every day. These interventions form a critical component of the strategic integrated approach to combatting wildlife crime as announced by the Minister of Environmental Affairs last year.”
The Rhino Protection Programme (RPP) - a collaboration between the Department of Environmental Affairs, South African National Parks, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (Ezemvelo) and Peace Parks Foundation (PPF) - is funded by the Dutch and Swedish postcode lotteries and other private donors which include The Sophia Foundation as well as the UK-based fundraising initiative, The Charge.
ENDS
Released by SANParks Corporate Communications
For further information contact:
Lise-Marie Greeff-Villet
Communications Coordinator
Peace Parks Foundation
Tel:+27 (0)21 880 5125
Email: lgreeff-villet@ppf.org.za
Paul Daphne
Head of Communications
SANParks
Tel: 012 426 5072
Cell: 082 806 5409
Email: paul.daphne@sanparks.org

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