- RPF Rhino Sanctuary Development -
The Thaba Manzi property in Limpopo comprises of large rhino holding camps and bomas, with veterinary services provided for the welfare of the animals as required. Dr. Jana Pretorius provides her services to Thaba Manzi as a specialist wildlife veterinarian.
Due to the tremendous increase in rhino poaching, in recent years the property has become a de facto 'sanctuary' for rhinos injured through poaching, as well as a safe place for private rhino owners to leave their rhinos (rather than leaving them to roam free and become targets). Thaba Manzi now cares for over 40 rhinos at any given time, increasing the security risk tremendously. After 2 poaching incidents at the property in 2015 resulting in the tragic loss of 3 rhinos, RPF launched a partnership with Thaba Manzi to raise funds for securing the property effectively.
The partnership would protect the rhinos under the care of Thaba Manzi, creating a RPF Rhino Sanctuary with the view to develop large rhino sanctuaries in the future as envisioned by the Foundation. Security measures urgently required include double fencing, thermal cameras able to pick up movement up to 300 metres away, a control room and 24/7 security patrols with dogs to keep poachers out.
The following fundraising initiatives and donations have already helped tremendously in securing the rhinos at the RPF Rhino Sanctuary.
Most immediate needs:
RPF Red Rhino Day
7 November 2015
R30,000 donated towards further securing of the fencing.
The Poached Rhino Foundation: Wild in Africa Rhino Ball
27 February 2016
R509,000 donated towards further improving the security fence.
Axis Communications donated 7 security cameras (R90,000 each)
Utilised for further securing the perimeter.
Bloodline Africa Auction
11 June 2016
Rhino sculpture donated by Arend Eloff was auctioned with a winning bid of R250,000 – Used for further securing the perimeter.
Monthly Anti-Poaching Patrols
Includes 2 guards inside the fence at night and 1 guard at the access control security gate during the day.
FUNDS NEEDED: Minimum R30,780/€2,200 per month.
New Access Control Gate
With control room on the road leading up to the sanctuary.
FUNDS NEEDED: R75,000/€5,400
Two Extra Guards per Month
FUNDS NEEDED: R18,000/€1,300
Monthly Food Supplies for 40+ Adult Rhinos
The rhino owners are currently carrying this cost, but this is not sustainable.
FUNDS NEEDED: R5,000/€400 per rhino per month
Milk for the Orphan Rhinos
FUNDS NEEDED: R85,000/€6,000
This is the cost to wean one baby rhino.
We currently have 4 baby rhino orphans at the sanctuary still drinking milk. We need to be prepared in the likely event more orphaned calves arrive. The other orphans have been weaned but still need hay and supplements on an ongoing basis.
- Expansion of the RPF Rhino Sanctuary -
The expansion of the current RPF Rhino Sanctuary is under development. A larger area is urgently required to provide our current rhinos with a more natural free-roaming habitat and vegetation.
The 100-hectare property adjacent to the sanctuary offers an ideal solution for the expansion of the sanctuary. The estimated price of the property is currently R6.5million/€500,000 excluding security fences. A secure fence around the site where the rhinos will be able to roam is necessary.
The same security would be needed for the 100-hectare site as is currently on the 8-hectare site. The cost for the fence and its security layers, including thermal and surveillance cameras and alarms on the electric fence, costs about R500 000/€35,000 per km.
- Development of a RPF Endangered Species Breeding Centre -
Today, there are only 3 northern white rhinos left in the world (1 bull and 2 cows).
These rhinos currently reside in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya, and are sadly unable to reproduce. We are now on the brink of losing a unique strain of our rhino heritage.
The Northern White Rhino (NWR) Action group, consisting of various parties including Kenya Wildlife Services and the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, was created with the aim of preventing the extinction of the Northern White Rhino. This would be achieved through the development and optimisation of a procedure that harvests and matures Southern White Rhino (SWR) oocytes, processes the fertilisation of these oocytes and finally embryo transfer into a SWR.
Once the process has been standardised, an attempt will be made to harvest oocytes from the last NWR rhino females, maturing the oocytes, fertilising them with NWR semen, generating embryos and cryo-preserving them and/or transferring them directly into SWR surrogate mothers.
RPF is passionate about supporting these efforts. We are in the process of developing a proposal with Embryo Plus (Dr Morne de la Rey), the pioneers of reproduction techniques in Africa, and Thaba Manzi Wildlife Services, to develop a RPF Endangered Species Breeding Centre at the RPF Sanctuary. The goal here would be to provide laboratory services and SWR's as surrogates for NWR embryos.
The long-term vision of the RPF Endangered Species Breeding Centre would also be to assist in breeding further rare and endangered species, such as the Black Lechwe, Hartmann's Mountain Zebra, Oribi, African Wild Dog and Eastern Black Rhino.
- Filming of I AM RHINO Documentary -
With the rhino poaching problem a key focus of various documentaries, we asked ourselves:
“What do we really know about the rhino?”
Interviewing friends and colleagues, we realised that the general public knows very little about rhinos, aside from the fact that they are one of the most poached animals in the world.
We have developed a concept for a blue-chip documentary, I AM RHINO, to create global exposure of everything that is rhino – who they are, how they act, what they need and how they love - in the most beautiful way possible.
The documentary has an estimated budget of R2 million to ensure it is of high quality and can be screened globally with the aim to educate worldwide. Donations and investments are welcome.
- Creation of Large-Scale Rhino Sanctuaries/Protection Zones -
RPF envisions developing large-scale rhino sanctuaries that will be High Security Rhino Protection Zones, equipped with ultra-high-tech military-style layered security systems that will detect poachers or trespassers on foot or in the air before they enter a protection zone. The focus will be on keeping poachers out before they enter, vastly increasing our ability to protect the rhinos.
A possible location for a protection zone in South Africa has been identified. A minimum of a 100,000 hectares will be required to ensure a sustainable natural biodiversity that will support rhinos and other wildlife in a free-ranging natural environment. The area can also possibly be enlarged to 300,000 hectares if required.
This is a hugely significant endeavour, and a business case is being developed to consider all the sub-components required to develop Phase 1 (100,000 hectares). Preliminary costing points to $65 million required and large-scale investors/donations will be required.
Other possible partnerships for creating protection zones in America, Australia and beyond are in the process of being explored.