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Found 5 results

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/30/us-army-veterans-find-peace-protecting-rhinos-poaching-south-africa https://www.armytimes.com/articles/us-combat-veterans-in-africa-turn-skills-to-protecting-rhinos-fighting-ptsd ~ These articles from The Guardian and the Army Times, explain how Vetpaw, an organization of U.S. military combat veterans, many of whom have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, now works in wildlife conservation. In South Africa's Limpopo Province they stand guard of rhinos on a private game reserve.
  2. "Vietnam has become the biggest hub in the world for trafficking in horns and other body parts of the rhinoceros, a critically endangered species which is being killed by poachers in South Africa at the rate of one every eight hours. An estimated 1,300 rhinos are slaughtered for their horns across Africa annually—up from just 100 in 2008—with the bulk of rhino horn smuggled by criminal gangs into Vietnam, according to surveys by international wildlife trade experts. Yet Vietnam hasn’t launched a single successful high-level prosecution against illegal rhino horn traders. The standing committee of CITES, the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species, meeting this week in South Africa, has warned Vietnam that the body will not tolerate the country’s failure to enforce bans on the rhino horn trade. The warning suggests that possible trade sanctions could be in the offing as early as next year. CITES is responsible for regulating trade in endangered species, including bans where appropriate, but depends on member states to enforce the ban. “It’s beginning to look like the only way they will take it seriously is sanctions,” said Colman O’Criodain, trade analyst with the World Wildlife Fund, who complains that Vietnam had resisted action on wildlife trafficking for years." http://www.latimes.com/world/africa/la-fg-vietnam-rhino-trafficking-20160926-snap-story.html -- I hope serious sanctions are enacted soon that force Vietnam to stop turning a blind eye to trade in endangered species like Rhinos and Tigers.
  3. Text: Noelle van Muiden of RvM Wildlife Photography Photos: Roel van Muiden of RvM Wildlife Photography *Names have been changed so as not to compromise any of the Anti-Poaching Rangers identities. Socks. The number one item on their wish list is socks. ‘So the guys do not get Trench-Rot.’ *Steven Kruger blows the words out as if expelling demons, as we sit in the heat of the veldt, smoking cigarettes after a rifle training session. ‘Water dispensers - 25L, Training - Specifics on intel gathering, gas cookers, and night vision thermals. That is what we need.’ Steven has been doing Anti-Poaching full time and voluntary for nine years; first in the Balule Game Reserve and then the Klaserie Private Game Reserve. Both lie inside South Africa at the frontline of the poaching incidents. He earned a measly R1800 a month. There his main encounters in Anti-Poaching, ‘was shooting dogs.’ Stray, un-spayed dogs, that come through from the townships and villages surrounding many of the game reserves and National Parks. The dogs bring diseases like Mange and Canine Distemper that threaten the wild populations of Black-Backed Jackal and Wild Dog. They can also bring in Tuberculosis (TB), which can endanger any, and all, wildlife. Steven takes off his sunglasses and hands me a smoke of my own. He tells me of how the lion and rhino poaching has increased over the past six years where he is now working after leaving the Balule. The elephant poaching as well. One hundred rhinos were killed in South Africa in October 2013 alone. The latest numbers have the total number of rhinos poached thus far this year at seven hundred and ninety. A staggering four hundred and seventy-six of which were poached in Kruger National Park. The Black Market need for rhino horn, (used in Traditional Medicines in places like Vietnam and China and in ceremonial dagger horns in Middle Eastern countries), has driven the price to well over USD$30,000 per kilogram. Some reports say well over USD$65,000 per kilogram.. There has not been a rhino poaching incident on Steven’s current reserve since April 2013. Here he is a volunteer Anti-Poaching Ranger. ‘We are the reaction unit.’ When the kak hits the proverbial fan Steven, and several others like him, join the permanent Anti-Poaching team to sort the problem out. Field Guide by day Anti-Poaching Ranger. When asked who he encounters as Poachers, where do these people originate from, ‘Mozzies and Zims’ comes the reply as the smoke curls around his head. Disdain has never been worn so well. Scorn and a resilience one does not see often outside the armed forces. No local South Africans involved in any incidences in his province, excepting the strong held suspicion of one local vet who used to work on the property. Not enough evidence but they know who he is he tells me. The Poachers use ‘.375’s and .458’s [the same calibre rifles needed to be a walking Trails Guide in South Africa. Easy to use and easy to buy.] Kitted with homemade suppressors and making on average R300,000 - R400,000 per person per horn.’ A staggering amount of money considering these men would normally earn around R3000 - R5000 a month if anything at all. South Africa is home to over eighty percent of Africa’s remaining rhino population with a mere twenty-five thousand left in number. The horn is made of the same keratin that makes up human hair and finger nails. With these staggering numbers of deaths, and the large sums paid to attain the horn, how can we stop this onslaught and save our National Heritage? As well as save the Continents last remaining stronghold of two ecologically important species, the Black and White Rhino? None of this even starts to touch the poaching issues surrounding elephant ivory and now the threat against the few remaining wild lions. There are only seven viable wild lion populations left in Africa. Two, or three depending on the source, are left in South Africa. Lion bones are high on the priority list of many eastern Nations. Their meat is served in restaurants in The States and Europe. These days, poaching is reaching almost epic numbers. Rangers literally risk their lives for the lives of animals like rhino and elephant and all they are asking for is socks. Canine units, special forces units, and traditionally trained anti-poaching units. These make up the front lines, and sometimes the last line, of defense for South Africa’s rhino populations. With rhino poaching syndicates becoming ever more intelligent, cryptic, and stealthy, the upkeep of our Anti-Poaching Rangers is of upmost importance. Without them we do not stand a chance in stopping, or even curbing, the decline to extinction of these iconic animals. Steven agrees, more pay, more training, more socks. *Matthew van Zyl wanted to be a farmer. Then a Field Guide. Now he is a permanent Anti-Poaching Ranger. Both he and Steven feel it is their duty to protect their National Heritage. Their countries’ special wildlife. Mat makes R6000 a month. Actually, he tells me, all his guys, across the board no matter the hierarchy, make R6000 a month. ‘We have to pay for our own food, medical supplies, pension, and medical evacuation out of that R6000.’ His men have to feed not only themselves but their families on R6000 a month. They are provided housing but it comes bare, no beds, no mattress, no couches, not even spoons and forks. Mat had to buy fridges out of pocket. ‘ If one of my guys needs medical help I am only allowed to drive him to clinic. I am not allowed to call on the reserve’s medical team as we are under contract. I will not be reimbursed if I pay for his medical treatment. Where would the money come from? We are a permanent unit but under contract to the reserve. They will not pay for medical evacuation or assistance.’ All of that is paid out of pocket. The Anti-Poaching Rangers spend twenty days in the bush with their kit, paid for out of their pockets and consisting of webbing, water, an R1 rifle, and army rations and not much more else. They then get eight days of leave. No rest for the weary. If the team gets taken on a permanent contract they will be able to use the reserves medical back-up, but they were promised a year ago it would become a permanent contract and still nothing has materialized. The Canine Unit both Mat and Steven work next to is fully paid for from private donations. A new vehicle, dog food, training for the dogs, but the men who work with the dogs and the men who work alongside these teams have to scrounge for their own food and beg for socks in their wish lists. Many people do not understand that an Anti-Poaching Rangers basic needs are hardly met, so they spend their donations on the dogs, thinking all the time that they are keeping South Africa’s wildlife safe. Steven and Mat both agree the Canine Units are useful and more than needed. Mat needs not only socks for his team but more training. To date they need the following qualifications to become an Anti-Poaching Ranger on his team: Self-loading R1 competency, Anti-Poaching experience - ‘There are really only three providers of Anti-Poaching training with Protrack out of Hoedspruit and Quemic being the best two’ Mat states matter-of-fact as he cleans up finished rounds, doppies, from the sun parched ground.. - Big Five experience - ‘Like Guiding’ - survival experience and they must be between eighteen and forty years old - ‘Thirty-five years is better. Forty is a bit old.’ When asked if South Africa has been successful in rehabilitating Poachers into Anti-Poachers like in North Luangwa National Park, Zambia, Steven says no. ‘Not here!’ with a very decisive turning of his head. His hard lined lips say it all. ‘They disappear too easily into the communities around the park here.’ Mat explains. ‘In the Lowveld the parks are closer together and people speak to each other, but here, if they make it into the communities or over the border to Botswana, that’s it.’ Most of the Unit’s intel comes from community members but these types of reliable sources are few and far between. Mats biggest wish after more socks and more training, ‘Salaries of R10,000 to R12,000 with Medical Aid and Pension.R6000 per month is not enough.’ To put this in context, Petrol Station attendants went on strike recently in South Africa to up their salaries to R6500 a month. That is R500 more than what Mat and his unit are making and Petrol Attendants only fill up your car, they do not put their own lives on the line in the heat, the cold, the dry, the wet, to save the lives of South Africa’s wildlife. Why are they not being paid more? Why are salaries and benefits so low? How can we fight against the scourge of poaching with syndicates that rival the cocaine syndicates in South America in money, power, and resources? How can we expect someone who is earning so little and doing so much not to take a bribe? The easy answer, put your money where your mouth is. Support our Troops, as it were. Donate to Anti-Poaching units and speak up. These guys do not go on strike. They do not complain. They carry on and do the dirty work the rest of us do not necessarily have the stomach for. And all to protect wildlife that can be seen on game reserves all over South Africa. An average guides salary is more than R6000 a month and he or she is the one who is taking overseas, and the local guests who can afford the lodges, to see the animals that Steven, Mat, and thousands of other men and women all over South Africa and Africa, spend days and nights out in the bush to protect. A few days later I meet Mat and some of his men for a training exercise, Jungle Lane. They are shooting at manlike targets. ‘Two shots. To kill.’ *Charles, like Steven a volunteer Anti-Poacher, mumbles around his Stuyvesant Blue. He and Edger help Mat train the guys in weapon handling. It is over thirty-eight Celsius in the noonday heat and the young men, shiny faces smiling at my hello, are still soft around the eyes. These are new recruits learning the ropes. They are in full kit, the sweat is pooling around the straps and seeping through their camo ensemble. Each taking their turn to half run, a bit hunched, leaning into their R1‘s as they shoot their pseudo-poachers. They earnestly attempt their drill. The only difference between this exercise and the real deal is that poachers shoot back and they shoot to kill. I share a small silence and a cigarette with these men. With Mat, with Charles, with Edger and their new recruits. Lighting my cigarette, I look at these men. Black and white. South African men who decided that this is what they wanted to do. Whether as a heart felt National Duty, or as a way to feed their families, these men with kind eyes and big hearts. Paid peanuts if anything at all, have the resilience, or buddings of, that of a Black Mamba. They do all of this in thirty-eight degree heat to save rhinos, elephants, and lions. The heat is stifling now. I glance at the small pup-tents and take a long drink of my now warm water. I look at these sweaty men. Some smiling at a small joke. Others in deep discussion with a trainer. I look off into the bush. The heat is rising in waves. I look forward to when we can find a seat free of biting flies and dusty wind. And all they ask for is socks...
  4. Dear President Zuma, By JIM RIES | Published: Oct 27, 2012 Rhino poaching is nothing new, but what is new is the increased demand for rhino horns and the desperately low numbers of remaining rhinos left in the wild. When Olivia and Carter started One More Generation, it was so they could raise awareness to the issue of so many species being added to the endangered list. It seems like everytime you turn around, there is a new, even longer list of species in jeopardy of becoming extinct. OMG has teamed up with the folks at SPOTS (Strategic Protection of Threatened Species) in South Africa in an effort to help raise awareness to the dire issue of Rhino Poaching. Unless we can motivate South African President Zuma to take stark actions to immediately curb poaching in South Africa, Rhino’s will go extinct in our lifetime. We are asking students (and adults) to help us show President Zuma how urgent it is for him to get involved. We can make a difference for these animals by writing a letter to President Zuma asking him to do something now. Our goal is to collect 1,000 letters and or drawings addressed to President Zuma. We plan on having the letters personally delivered to President Zuma to show him and his staff how much we in America (and all over the world) care for these animals. Why has poaching for Rhino horn increased so dramatically? South Africa is home to the Big Five. While all of them are at risk, on average two rhinos are killed every day through illegal and cruel poaching. The reason for the increasing slaughter is that the horn is sold into the Asian traditional medicine markets. Rhino horns are composed largely of the protein keratin, also the main ingredient in hair, fingernails, and animal hooves, yet is has no proven medicinal value. In many cases the horn is hacked off while the animal is still alive. It is time to stop the animal cruelty and diminish the belief that the horn has any proven medicinal value. Ground-up Rhino horn powder is now valued at six times the price of gold. How are Rhino’s Killed? Syndicates use helicopters to shoot or dart a rhino with a tranquillizer gun to bring the animal down and then close in, hacking the horn off and then leaving the animal to bleed to death. However, Rhinos are more often shot with high powered hunting rifles than tranquilized with a dart gun. Often, if the cow has a calf, it is killed as well, both for the little bit of horn that it may have, but also to prevent it from interfering with the poachers as they hack the mothers horn out. Sometimes poachers are highly skilled professional hunters, who operate at ground level in a highly organized manner, with logistical support in the form of vehicles and other back-up. Less sophisticated poaching groups may consist of 4 to 6 individuals who are well armed and will infiltrate a community to get information on rhinos in the area. They will plan their kill, often shooting the animal in the knee to keep it from running away, or killing it outright. The animal is usually slaughtered and the horns are usually roughly removed with an axe or panga. Here is a video that breaks down the cold hard facts for you: Why you should get involved: Each and every one of us are supposed to be stewards of this planet and all it’s inhabitants. We are all they have got and they are depending on us to help them. Survival of many other species depend on us successfully fighting for the rhino’s survival. If the iconic rhino can’t be saved, what chance do the lesser known endangered species have? Your involvement in playing a role in conservation will be showcased on the OMG and SPOTS websites. Make this part of your resume one day. It is something to be very proud of – show the world you did not wait for someone else to take action and solve the problem. You stood up for what’s right and made your voice heard. The OMG and SPOTS letter campaign is not only about asking questions, it is also about bringing awareness to the plight of this defenseless animal. Letters will be delivered to the South African government and the media will be invited. By getting the media involved, a larger audience can be reached Remember, extinction is forever and each one of us has the power to make a difference. Please send us your letter today and we encourage you to also contact your school, church group or other community organization and ask them to also help collect letters as well. We have created an educational document on the issue which you can use to make your own presentation to schools and other community groups in your area. We will be awarding special prizes to the top three individuals who send us the most letters. Board members from SPOTS and OMG will also be picking their favorite letter and picture. If your letter or picture is chosen, you too will receive a special gift. Remember, together we can make a difference for these animals. Click on the ‘Community Rhino Presentation‘ link below to download the complete presentation. The file is very large so it may take a few minutes to download. Please be patient. If you have problems downloading the file, please email us and we can email you a copy as well. Click here to download your Presentation: Community Rhino Presentation We also found this wonderful short kids book titled Ronnie and the Rhino Horn which is great for younger kids. You can download the story here: Ronnie and the Rhino Horn Below we have added a few coloring pages you can print out and color-in and send to us. Please make sure you write your name on the picture and make sure we can read it so we can add it below: Daddy Rhino Coloring Page Mommy Rhino Coloring Page Mommy and Baby Rhibo Coloring Page Orphaned Babay Rhino Coloring Page Here are two Template Letters you can download and use if you would like, or you can just write your own letter. Either way, please make sure you mail or email us your letter today: Dear President Zuma Letter Template (4) Blank Letter for President Zuma Please address your letters to President Zuma and send them to our office at the address below. We will scan in all letters and post them below for the whole world to see. You may also email the letters directly to us at the email address below: One More Generation P.O. Box 143627 Fayetteville, GA 30214 info@onemoregeneration.org Here is a great new music video about the need to save Rhinos for One More Generation… and beyond: Here are the letters we have received so far. Each letter is assigned a number according to the order in which they are received. We list all letters alphabetically by last name to make it easier to find your letter. Invite your friends and family members to view your letter here: Abby #152 – GA USA Abnett, Alexia #181 – Springs, Gauteng South Africa Aiaan, #88 Alex #138 – GA USA Alex #172 – GA USA Allard, Jillian #210 – GA USA Ames, Alexandra #46 – London UK Amini, Neda #7 – GA USA Amini, Naseem #8 – GA USA Anderson, Fiona #31 Anthony #139 – GA USA Anthony, Asha #224 – GA USA Arrington, Madison #27 - GA USA Avery #122 – GA USA Avery #130 – GA USA Avery #238 – GA USA Aycock, Joan #39 - GA USA Aycock, Lauren #63 Bailey, Sean #174 – GA USA Baker, Heather #141 – GA USA Barnes, Julia #217 – GA USA Barrett, Susan #182 – Somerset UK Bath, Sheila #93 – South Africa Belfo, Karen #193 – Quebec Canada Bell, Denise #102 Bettadapura, Keerthi #10 Bosley, Sandi #100 – Mexico Boswell, Katlynn #227 – GA USA Boswell, Natalie #242 – GA USA Bowes, Belinda #272 – Montreal, Quebec Canada Boxall, Ella #266 – Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom Brady, Colt #26 – GA USA Brennan, Kyran #68a Brown, Kaitlyn #151 – GA USA Bu, Julie #254 – GA USA Cadet, Ralph #198 – GA USA Carolyn, #47 Carter #129 - GA USA Carter Paul #124 – GA USA Cassell, Courtlyn #228 – GA USA Chance #153 – GA USA Chaney #236 – GA USA Chang, Leng Kar #89 – GA USA Chino, #50 Christensten, Stella #179 – GA USA Cody, #81 Collins, Abby #231 – GA USA Collins, Ava #232 – GA USA Cornett, Samantha #175 – GA USA Crawford, Bailey #234 – GA USA Cromie, Lauren #62 – USA Cutts, Sarah #230 – GA USA Danielle, #104 – NY USA Davey #117 – GA USA David #165 – GA USA De Los Santos, Adriana #187 – OH USA Delgado, Anthony #197 – GA USA Denver, Ella #86 – South Australia Douglass, Ty #199 – GA USA Drake, Victoria #222 – GA USA Dunn, Tristan #85 Dusenbury, Allison #186 – OH USA Eade, Cynthia #264 – GA USA Ebony, #87 Edmiston, Bailey #248 – GA USA Edmiston, Christopher #247 – GA USA Edmiston, Jackson #249 – GA USA Edmiston, Jonathan #251 – GA USA Edmiston, Tracy #250 – GA USA Egresi, Lori #271 – NY USA Erickson, Allie #213 – GA USA Espinel, Nicholas #260 – GA USA Faith #178 – GA USA Faulkner, Mary Katherine #192 – GA USA Faye, Allison #24 Fisk, Celine #66 Fisk, Samantha #67 Foote, Melinda #184 – OH USA Gabe #120 – GA USA Gabe #121 – GA USA Gaivin #114 – GA USA Garcia, Valentina #60 – GA USA Glasser, Dani #219 – GA USA Goodall, Jane #112 – VA USA Grace, #57 Grace #167 – GA USA Gueli, Alessandro #11 Guerremo, Paola #211 – GA USA Guerrero, Carmen #5 – AZ USA Haefer, Adrian #218 – GA USA Hamilton, Bryant #131 – GA USA Hance, Jeremy #41 – MN USA Hannah #146 – GA USA Hannah #159 – GA USA Hannah #168 – GA USA Hannah #176 – GA USA Harbin, Beth #25 Harnage, Andrew #20 Harnage, Lily #19 Harry, #82 – South Australia Harvill, Annette #112A – GA USA Healy, Valerie #110 – Glasgow, Scotland, UK. Hennum, Anna #226 – GA USA Higgins, Joanne #183 – OH USA Holsey, Iman #223 – GA USA Hope, #54 Huff, Adyson #235 – GA USA Hury, Catherine #108 – France Isabella #142 – GA USA Jack, #59 Jackie #161 – GA USA Jackson #123 – GA USA Jackson #126 – GA USA Jacob #73 Jacob #170 – GA USA Jams, Ethan #80 Jaxon #136 – GA USA Jenny, #46 John, #52 John, #55 John #164 – GA USA Johnny, #48 Johnson, Jack #259 – GA USA Johnson, Luke #258 – GA USA Joyner, Sidney #203 – GA USA Kaitlyn #150 – GA USA King, Kyle #105 – GA USA Klimitz, Lauren #158 – GA USA Kretschmer, Estie #37 – South Africa Krykwa, Noah #33 Kuitert, Heidi #103 – The Netherlands Kyle, #84 Lansdowne, Ethan #207 – GA USA Larsen, Hailey #34 Lashley, Kacie #202 – GA USA Law, Kenneth #246 – GA USA Leal, Albert (Paw Paw) #45 - MA USA Leal, Brandon #99 – MA USA Leal, Chris #92 – MA USA Leal, Maryann #40 – MA USA Levy, Rena #42 Lewis, Kathy #132 – Brownfield, ME USA Lewis, Sophie #32 Longmeyer, Cassidy #244 – GA USA Longmeyer, Ella #225 – GA USA Lopes, Shawn #220 - GA USA Lovegrove, Corey #75 Lusk, William #263 – GA USA Lynn Ann #145 – GA USA Mackenzie #140 – GA USA Mackenzie #177 – GA USA Magee, Fionna #240 – GA USA Magee, Karyn #243 – GA USA Mallett, Emily #239 – GA USA Mannum, Community College #69 – South Australia Mannum, Community College #70 - South Australia Mannum, Community College #71 - South Australia Mannum, Community College #72 - South Australia Mannum, Community College #74 - South Australia Mannum, Community College #76 - South Australia Mannum, Community College #77 - South Australia Marafioti, Alyssa #83 Marc #116 – GA USA Mariana #155 – GA USA Mariana #137 – GA USA Marilyn #149 – GA USA Markson, Laura #113 – GA USA Martinez, Axel #196 – GA USA Martinez, Charlotte #265 – Denmark Maxmin, Chloe #38 – ME USA Mayasaha #215 – GA USA McClure, Jess #209 – GA USA Mcintosh, Jim and Kay #107 – South Africa McIntosh-Ross, Michele #252 – GA USA McLaren, Goffinet #1 – SC USA McLonaghie, Jacob #205 – GA USA McMan, Chat #125 – GA USA Mercure, Ashlyn #21 Mercure, Elise #22 Michael #148 – GA USA Mielder, Bianca #65 Mitchell, Nautica #201 – GA USA Moore, Carter #36 Moore, Tara #245 – GA USA Moss, Mackenzie #229 – GA USA Moss, Maddie #233 – GA USA Motter, Stephanie #206 – GA USA Munuz, Angela #204 – GA USA Murphy, Joan #98 – Johannesburg, South Africa Mylee, #79 – South Australia Nadia #143 – GA USA Naik, Kikaw #257 – GA USA Nason #163 – GA USA Neckebroeck, Anne-Marie #111 – Wetteren, Belgium Niebanck, Peyton #221 – GA USA Nik, #78 Noah #118 – GA USA Oliver, Joel #134 – GA USA Olivier, Joel #173 – GA USA Orgbon, Charles #64 – GA USA Orr, Avery #241 – GA USA Owen, Lorelei #6 Pabst, Tori #12 – GA USA Pavao, Cole #261 – GA USA Pearthree, Patty #9 – NC USA Peck, Michelle #188 – OH USA Perera, Diyani #96 – Sri Lanka Petrino, Francesca #237 – GA USA Peyton #160 – GA USA Porter, Austin #162 – GA USA Post, Nadia #144 – GA USA Raegan, #49 Rasigatale, Nahum #68b Riddell, M #101 Ries, Carter #2 – GA USA Ries, Olivia #3 – GA USA Roberts, Amiya #200 – GA USA Robertson, Keon #94 Rose, #56 Rose, Jenny #268 – Melbourne, Australia Rose, Susan #273 – FL USA Ryan #115 – GA USA S, Jennifer #253 – GA USA Salisbury, Ian #95 – Zambia South Africa Samantha #156 – GA USA Schmidt, Ty #147 – GA USA Scotti, Kevin #185 – OH USA Sengupta, Sue #267 – GA USA Serafln, Meghan #61 – GA USA Sermeus, Ingrid #106 – Belgium Seymour, Roxanne #43 Shaw, Lisa #191 – FL USA Shumway, Andrew #208 – GA USA Shumway, Emma #216 – GA USA Siegel, Isabella #30 Skinner, Shawna #190 – OH USA Sklar, Livia #262 – GA USA Smallwood, Trenton #29 Smith, Vicky #90 – GA USA Soto, Dacota #35 – GA USA Soto, Darius #28 – GA USA Sowlant, Arina #195 – GA USA Spaeta, Brian #214 – GA USA St.Peter, Emily #44 – GA USA Stede #154 – GA USA Stella #180 – GA USA Strawn, Heather #189 – OH USA Tess #135 – GA USA Tess #157 – GA USA Tess #169 – GA USA Thomas, Rachel #23 Tori, #53 Turner #127 – GA USA Ty #166 – GA USA Vanchipurakel, Neil #256 – GA USA Vaughn, Gina #4 – GA USA Volpe, Braxton #18 Volpe, Peyton #17 Walker, Cindy #270 – Haiku, Hawaii USA Weidmann, Mikaela #212 – GA USA Weinreb, Abby #13 – GA USA Weinreb, Kim #16 – GA USA Weinreb, Sam #15 – GA USA Weinreb, Todd #14 – GA USA Wesley #128 – GA USA West, Everet #91 Whitcraft, Samantha #109 – FL USA Wiese, Cole #133 – GA USA Williams, Alex #97 Wissink, Crystal #269 – MI USA Yaynik, Keyuri #255 – GA USA Zamlinsky, Mark #194 – GA USA Zoe #119 – GA USA Zoe #171 – GA USA Thanks in advance for your support from all of us at OMG
  5. I feel helpless every time I read another Rhino had been poached. This morning when I read News24 and saw that 100 (a hundred) Rhinos have been poached and killed in the last two months, I felt a deep sadness. Not only for the pain and suffering our Rhinos had to endure, but also for those who are involved with this senseless poaching of our natural heritage. But then again, they do not think it is senseless. For them it is all about money. And where will it stop? Our Goverment is certainly not doing enough. Our minister is mumm on the issue and SanParks only give information out which they think we should hear. 50 (Fifty) of the Rhinos poached and killed in the last two months were in the Kruger National Park. Our most famous and popular tourist destination in South Africa for those who want to spend time close to nature. My question to SanParks is this: What are you doing about this problem? It seems like it is a case of not being vigilant enough, a don't care attitude, which is quite obvious when you do put a question to them. As to our minister? Well, she talks the talk on her press conferences, but nothing is done. And she says she is committed to the issue. But Edna, I doubt it. Where has all the money gone that they received for this specific problem. As yet, no information has been made available to the public? Did it go for salaries? That is usually the answer. I always ask the question, why is it that millions of dollars get donated to an instance like "Sea Shepherd" and coverage gets given to their efforts in saving the Whales from being hunted down. And they do a wonderful job. But what about our Rhinos? Is enough effort been made? No, I don't think so. Even the wheels of justice are too slow. And the Poachers are laughing at us. The same people who have been caught, and been released on bail, are still involved in the very same activities. As to all the different foundations which have appear all of a sudden. Guys, this is not a joke and please do not start your foundations, trying to make money from donations for your own pockets. I have asked numerous of these foundations if they need volunteers, in any form or shape. To this date, I have yet to receive a positive answer. And I do ask for a specific reason. I feel that should they be so committed and they are true in their quest to save the Rhino, then surely they would want people out there to help and assist? Also, guys, please try and give correct information to the public. Specially on platforms as Twitter. It is very easy to spot "chancers". My wish for our Rhinos: For us, as their caregivers, to respect their place on this earth and to protect and keep them save.

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