We humans often think that we’re “too little” to make a significant change in the world. Or perhaps we don’t believe in the small, yet effective steps that can lead to an important progress in the global community.
While volunteering with the Bring the Elephant Home Foundation we learned about the fantastic work they do for elephants in Thailand. Through this we came to realize that we were not in fact, “too small” to make an impact, but rather the opposite; there is immense potential to create change in the world.
We could see the foundation for the organization was driven by like-minded people coming together to accomplish a common goal.
Another issue that needs this kind of confidence, and a call for action, is the rhino poaching crisis in South Africa. To say rhinos are facing extinction would be an understatement. There are more consequences beyond that would possibly occur if this species wasn’t living in Africa anymore.
Let’s get straight to the numbers so you have a better idea why there’s a reason to be aware of the problem.
That’s the frequency in which one rhino is killed in South Africa.
That’s how many rhinos were killed in South Africa according to the statistics in 2014. The number doesn’t include those dead rhinos; meat of whose was eaten by vultures by the time rangers discovered them (around 10% of them).
29,000 wild rhinos
That’s how many wild rhinos are left across Africa and Asia compared to the beginning of the 20th century when there were 500,000 of them. Currently, South Africa holds 80% of Africa’s rhino population.
That’s the price for saving one rhino, including darting, transportation and other expenses connected with quarantining the animals.
That’s the street price that is paid for a kilo (2.2 pounds) of rhino horn.
In China and other countries, where Chinese medicine is practiced, it’s believed the horn is a panacea for headaches as well as cancer and impotency. This information however, was never confirmed and they actually banned using rhino horn in medicine in China in 1993.
Now, more of good news.
Dereck and Beverly Joubert, longtime National Geographic reporters, photographers and videomakers who created Big Cats Initiative to halt the decline of lions, leopards, cheetahs, tigers, recently launched an epic project called, Rhinos Without Borders.
Their aim is to relocate a minimum of 100 wild rhinos from South Africa to Botswana. They’re working in partnership with &Beyond Travel Company and Great Plains Conservation, as well as various other government ministries.
Also, a group of over 120 travel bloggers joined a fundraiser run by Travellers Building Change, Green Travel Media and eco-conscious sponsors to collect minimum $45,000 to save #JustOneRhino and spread the word about the alarming crisis of African rhinos.
“Why relocate the rhinos?”
South Africa is a country with a higher human density compared to Botswana. Moreover, the latter is said to be a corruption-free country with some of the highest sentences for poaching. They boast a ‘shoot-to-kill policy’ (all poachers who don’t put down the gun after they are caught by rangers, are shot) and vast wild reserves with no roads, which makes it more difficult for possible poachers to move around. Additionally, Botswana cancelled rhino trophy hunting in 2014, while it still remains legal in South Africa.
All rhinos that will be relocated to Botswana are going to be selected very carefully. Females that are close to give birth, females with offspring, and old rhinos will not be considered.
Once the candidates are decided on, they will be sedated and extracted for blood samples to make sure they’re fit enough to make the long trip. After that, the animals are moved into quarantine for six-weeks before they fly to a secret location in Botswana.
The project does not end here. Rhinos will be tracked via GPS devices and will be protected on a military level complete with an aerial monitoring. The animals will be moved to their new home over a period of four or five months. The animals will be relocated to the areas far from the borders, as to not attract the poachers from South Africa.
“How can I help?”
We’re happy to answer! You can donate a minimum of $20 and make this project real. There are also some great prizes waiting for you, and all you need to do is to donate whatever amount you feel you can afford. Then, just pick three prizes you are interested in winning and help spread the word about the campaign, too. Thanks a lot for all your support and… good luck in the raffle!
“What can I win?”
10-day Galapagos Voyage for one from International Expeditions. Value $5,298
South Africa Big Five Safari: Kruger & KwaZulu-Natal + Swag Bag for 2 people from Adventure Life. Value $5000
Seven nights bed and breakfast in a Garden View suite from Cobblers Cove Hotel, Barbados. Value $5,187
10 nights’ stay & wellness package for two people at Yemaya Island Hideaway and Spa on Little Corn Island, Nicaragua from Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa, Nicaragua. Value $5,241
Vouchers for 2 people at Bali Jiwa Villain in Bali, Indonesia. Value $1,000.
(2) Vouchers for 2 people at The Scent Hotel in Koh Samui, Thailand. Total Value $3000 ($1,500 for each 2-person package).
Vouchers for 2 people at 4 Rivers Floating Lodge, Koh Kong, Cambodia. Value $900.
Vouchers for 2 people at Flower Island, Palawan, Philippines. Value $900
All from Secret Retreats.
And more Travel Prizes:
• eBag Luggage
• WeWOOD Watches
• Dinner/Brunch Cruises
• 2 nights in an Italian Villa
• 2 Tours in India
• ExOfficio Gift Certificate
• 2 nights Renaissance Asheville
• Travel Blog Success Lifetime Membership
• African Elephant Photo Pack
• HDR Timelapse Video Camera w/Lens
• Blogger Mentorship Package from Green Global Travel