Several rhino themed wall paintings have appeared around Saigon in Vietnam recently.
Founded in 2013, ChangeVN fights climate change and promotes wildlife conservation in Vietnam.
In 2014 they partnered with NGO WildACT to create “Stop Usng Rhino Horn Campaign.
Their aim s to raise local awareness to reduce local demand.
Vietnam is the number ONE consumer of rhino horn. They drove their own Javan rhino to extinction 7 years ago. Consumers believe horn is a cure for disease and a symbol of wealth.
ChangeVN targets the business community because it believes they are the main consumers.
They reach out in schools, pagodas and online.
This campaign is about EDUCATION. One innovative segment asked viewers to bite their fingernails to demonstrate that THIS is what rhino horn is composed of.
The wall painting was a huge project. Vietnamese and international stars were invited and they signed a massive drawing of a rhino horn. People watched the artists painting and asked what this was about. Some knew about the rhino crisis; others did not.
This is a significant contribution to global efforts to stem the poaching of the rhino.
This year’s Game Fair, to be held at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, from Friday 28 to Sunday 30 July, will include demonstrations from Daryll Pleasants, who specialises in training dogs to help with anti-poaching efforts in Africa.
Daryll, who has been involved with anti-poaching efforts for five years, is working on projects in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Mozambique, Namibia and Kenya through the organisation Animals Saving Animals, where he is helping to protect the last northern white rhinos.
The South African Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group properties have recently partnered with the non-profit organization “The Rhinos Are Coming” to raise awareness and funds in the fight against Rhino poaching in South Africa.
On April 6 2017 a herd of life sized Rhinos, sponsored by various local businesses and organizations, painted by both famous an emerging artists, embarked on a Grand Rhino Roadshow.
Touring Cape Town and the surrounding Winelands, those unique pieces of contemporary art will build the basis of a region-wide three-month-long Outdoor Art Exhibition. The goal of this unique initiative is to raise awareness and funds to support StopRhinoPoaching in their efforts to actively fight Rhino poaching within South Africa. The roadshow will culminate with the Carlson Rezidor Rhino displayed at the various Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson Hotels, to further entrench our efforts to raise awareness around this worthy cause.
At Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson, we are proud to support this exceptional fundraising project and sponsor a colourful Rhino figure, which the incredibly talented Andrew Hart Adler made his canvas for this extraordinary cause and who in true Park Inn by Radisson spirit literally added colour to life.
To get involved and support this worthy cause please contact: The Rhinos Are Coming
Photo Credit: Grant Smithers Photography
Canine in the Kruger National Park – used for tracking and capturing poachers as well as detecting contraband like firearms and rhino horn – have been described as a game-changer since their introduction to the park, with an arrest success rate of more than 80%.
On recent media trip to the Kruger National Park K9 Centre at Skukuza, canine manager Johan de Beer said in the space of a year, the dogs have been responsible for 168 of the 200 odd poaching related arrests in Kruger. “I don’t think we’d be able to do the job without them,” de Beer said.
In total, there are some 53 dogs in the park at the moment, which de Beer says is the largest anti-poaching canine unit in the world. Dogs are mainly acquired from Denel Mechem, Paramount Group and Genesis Canine Group as well as a few other certified companies. Trained, thoroughbred working dogs are not cheap, and typically cost between R35 and R50 000. Training a handler also costs tens of thousands of Rands.
On 15 March 2017 Rhino 911 assisted with yet another Rhino cow that was shot in one of our North West parks. She has a small calf with her.
Dr Gerhardus Scheepers treated her bullet wound and will have to do a follow up treatment. They were both darted to determine the extent of the injuries.
Her calf was such a cute little thing and fortunately he has no injuries.
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Blog Category: South Africa’s statistical report on rhino poaching reveals a 10.3 per cent dip in the numbers illegally killed in 2016 compared to the previous year. As Professor Keith Somerville, senior research fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the School of Advanced Study, University of London explains: The South African Ministry for Environmental Affairs released the rhino poaching statistics, which showed that nationally 121 fewer animals were poached in 2016 (1,054) compared with 2015 (1,175). But the figures also indicated that there had been an increase in illegal killing for horn in areas outside Kruger National Park. The decline is welcome but it still represents 5% of SA’s total rhino population of 20,000.
Poaching networks are spreading their operations across the country with increasing sophistication and flexibility. Demand from Vietnam, China and other countries in East Asia shows no sign of abating.
Poaching gangs include Mozambicans brought into the country and paid to poach – they are often armed with high-powered rifles imported for the Mozambican security forces and wildlife department that have been corruptly diverted to poaching gangs. But much of the poaching in South Africa involves gangs of Afrikaners, which include former vets, wildlife rangers, helicopter pilots, professional hunters and game farm owners. Senior ANC members are involved as well as government ministers.
Save the Rhino and other conservation NGOs have welcomed the overall fall in South Africa, but are opposed to the South African government’s draft legislation which would allow a domestic trade in rhino horn to resume. The trade was suspended by a government-imposed moratorium in 2009, which was successfully challenged in the courts by private rhino owners.
Under the new law, the government’s hacked together response to the court decision, a foreign citizen visiting South Africa could get a permit to export a maximum of two rhinos per year (or their horns), meaning the already overstretched South African wildlife authorities would be required to police both a legal and illegal trade.
This has huge potential for laundering poached horns and for a new form of what was once called pseudo-hunting, when non-hunters from Vietnam and Thailand paid to shoot rhinos and export the ‘legal’ trophy.
Article Content: – Rhino owners and some conservationists, like David Cook (formerly director of the Natal Parks Board, and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi senior ranger) and John Hanks (former director of WWF’s Africa programme), favour an internationally regulated, legal trade that would supply demand through the provision of non-lethal horn. Such a system needs strong safeguards and monitoring procedures that are neither in place nor addressed in the rushed draft legislation.
South Africa’s government has a reputation for corruption at the highest levels of the ruling party, ministries and state institutions (including the police), so the hasty creation of a poorly-monitored legal trade does not amount to a regulated, well thought-out means of destroying the monopoly of the smugglers, or of using a regulated trade in non-lethal horn to undercut the illegal trade, reduce poaching significantly and produce income for sustainable conservation. Falling between the two stools of a total ban and a properly-policed legal trade, the new legislation looks like a new rhino disaster waiting to happen.
Rhino 911 received a call for help on Sunday 12 March 2017 from Steve Dell at Pilanesberg Nature Reserve to locate an orphaned calf whose mother was poached last night in one of other North West Parks.
Nico Jacobs & Gerhardus Scheepers flew the Bell 407 and searched for more than an hour and a half, finally locating the 8 week old baby girl rhino. She was hacked by a panga and has several open wounds on her back. Gerhardus immediately began administering veterinary care and the baby was airlifted to safety. She has been named Jaime, “j’aime” means “I Love” in French, in honour of all the people working to save the rhinos, in solidarity to the Thoiry Zoo in France and to all the people affected by rhino poaching.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Meet Arrow and his handler, Henry Holtshyzen. Harnessed together, they take off across the vast wildlife preserve. Arrow seems unperturbed, even as they hurl themselves out of the helicopter, falling more than 6,000 feet to earth — and landing in the middle of the poaching wars.
Henry Holtshyzen and Arrow jump out of an airplane to take on poachers.
“Getting the dog to the frontlines as fast as possible is always a challenge and parachuting and rappelling is one of the ways of getting dog boots on the ground where they are needed,” Holtshyzen says. These elite dogs are trained to immediately sniff out the poacher, rushing to attack, pinning the poacher to the ground until more help arrives. This may be a training exercise, but the dog’s bites are real — and special bite-proof suits are needed.
Henry Holtshyzen is a handler for Arrow, a dog trained to sniff out poachers and pin the poacher to the ground until more help arrives.
The dogs are up against up against highly-trained, heavily-armed poachers who run a multimillion-dollar industry trading in elephant and rhino horn. In the past seven years, a third of Africa’s elephants have been wiped out.
Nearly 100 of these sky diving dogs have been placed in game reserves across Africa. In one region, they caught more than 100 poachers in 18 months. Holtshyzen told us one dog, Killer, nabbed more poachers than rangers equipped with the latest high tech weapons.
Henry Holtshyzen and Arrow are dropping 6,000 feet to earth to catch poachers.
“That is the most effective tool against poaching ever used and it’s low technology, it’s low cost compared to other technologies. And it works,” Holtshyzen says.
Man’s best friend may turn out to be a poacher’s worst enemy.
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The fighting woolly rhinos at Chauvet Cave. Charcoal from these drawings has yielded radiocarbon dates of 31,000-32,000 years BP #IceAgeArt
The Chauvet Cave (also known as the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave) is a Palaeolithic cave situated near Vallon-Pont-d’Arc in the Ardèche region of southern France that houses impeccably preserved, exquisite examples of prehistoric art. Now reliably dated to between c. 33,000 and c. 30,000 years ago, the numerous and diverse animals that dot the interior walls of the cave – both painted and engraved – show such high artistic quality that they were initially thought to have been closer in age to the similarly stunning, but much younger art in caves such as the Lascaux Cave. Its age and artistry have made us reconsider the story of art as well as the capabilities of these humans. The cave has been granted UNESCO World Heritage status.
– Anti-wildlife trafficking operation results in global arrests and seizures
LYON, France – A global operation tackling the illegal trade in wildlife and timber has resulted in the identification of nearly 900 suspects and 1,300 seizures of illicit products worth an estimated USD 5.1 million.
The results, announced ahead of World Wildlife Day (3 March), mark INTERPOL’s ongoing commitment to supporting its 190 member countries in combating all types of environmental crime.
Codenamed Thunderbird, the operation involved police, customs, border agencies, environment, wildlife and forestry officials from 43 countries and territories, and resulted in a range of seizures including;
• 60 tonnes of wood and timber
• 4,770 birds
• 1,240 reptiles including at least 560 turtles and tortoises
• 100 wild cats
• 2.75 tonnes of pangolin scales
• 2.54 tonnes of raw and processed ivory
• 25 tonnes of various animal parts, including meat, horns and feathers
• 37,130 derivatives and processed products such as medicines/ornaments/carvings
Among the more than 14.3 tonnes of marine wildlife seized were 180 dead seahorses which had been concealed in snack boxes discovered by US authorities, with additional seahorse seizures also made in Mozambique.
In Hong Kong, China, officers seized 1.3 tonnes of red sandalwood hidden in a container shipped from Malaysia.
Intelligence was gathered and shared ahead of the operation to assist in identifying specific targets and areas for action. These included wildlife and forest crime hotspots and bottlenecks where checkpoints could be established, in addition to operations at airports and national borders.
Cars, trucks, boats and cargo transporters suspected of moving illicit products were also targeted with searches carried out by officers, specialist sniffer dogs and x-ray scanners.
Scrap yards, taxidermy shops, garages, pet fairs, warehouses and health clinics were also targeted during the operation, resulting in seizures, arrests and general information gathering. Websites and social media offering wildlife products were also the focus of investigations.
The three-week (30 January – 19 February) operation has so far resulted in 370 investigations which have already led to 89 individuals being jailed with terms ranging from several days to seven years.
“Wildlife trafficking has surged in recent years, generating billions in illicit profits. Simply put, criminals are helping themselves to the environment’s precious resources without a care for the cost to our planet,” said INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock.
“The success of this operation is a demonstration of what can be achieved by transnational law enforcement collaboration, and the resolve of countries to tackle environmental crime. INTERPOL also remains committed to tackling wildlife and forest crime across the globe, to protect today’s resources for tomorrow’s generations,” concluded the INTERPOL chief.
“The WCO commends the continuous initiatives of the Customs community and their law enforcement counterparts to secure the integrity of the global supply chain against the illegal movements of wildlife and timber products. Operation Thunderbird bears proof of the effectiveness of international cooperation and all role-players are encouraged to continue with their relentless efforts in this regard,” said the Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), Dr Kunio Mikuriya.
Led by INTERPOL, in close cooperation with ICCWC partners – the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), WCO, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the World Bank – the INTERPOL Wildlife Crime Working Group, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the UK Border Force and Environment Canada, Operation Thunderbird was organized at meetings held alongside the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP17).
“Illicit wildlife trafficking must be tackled on the frontline and the officers who serve to protect wildlife need our full support. This well focussed operation brought together officers who are working in countries and regional enforcement bodies to tackle wildlife crime and we welcome the excellent results and thank all involved for their efforts. It clearly shows what can be achieved through coordinated efforts to tackle illicit wildlife trafficking,” said John E. Scanlon, CITES Secretary General.
The intelligence and data collected from the operation will be compiled, analysed and used as guidance in future national, regional and international enforcement efforts.
A joint INTERPOL – UN Environment report published in June 2016, estimated the value of all forms of environmental crime – including the illegal trade in wildlife, corporate crime in the forestry sector, the illegal exploitation and sale of gold and other minerals, illegal fisheries, the trafficking of hazardous waste and carbon credit fraud – as between USD 91-258 billion. However, these figures are expected to increase with current estimates showing environmental crime growing at a rate of five to seven per cent annually.