FANTASTIC BREAKING NEWS...SO PROUD ....
of the Unitrans Volkswagen tracker hound KOMBI who tracked 2 poachers 10.5 kilometers and facilitated their arrest and the retrieval of a .458 rifle in the Kruger Park today.
Congratulations to her trainer and the Rangers involved. RHINO HEROES!!
The tracker hound project is funded by Unitrans Volkswagen through the Unite against Poaching initiative in co operation with the SANParks Honorary Rangers.
Kariega Game Reserve is delighted to announce that poaching survivor, Thandi the rhino has given birth to a calf this morning at 8h50. The birth was witnessed by two Kariega rangers and shortly afterwards; wildlife veterinarian Dr William Fowlds observed the mother and her calf from a distance. He confirmed that both are doing well.
Thandi and two male rhinos were discovered on 2 March 2012 after their horns were brutally removed with machetes and were left to die by poachers. The two males sadly died, whilst Thandi has endured numerous operations over the past two years including pioneering skin graft surgery under the care of Dr William Fowlds.
Dr Fowlds of Investec Rhino Lifeline comments: “I am sure that the whole rhino caring community will share in the joy of this amazing birth. Thandi’s story has always been an incredible testimony of the will to survive against all odds. She represents so much of what her species faces under the current poaching crisis. Her survival has already given us inspiration but the birth of her calf brings a new dimension of hope to the crisis showing us that a future generation of life is possible if we put our minds and hearts to it.”
As the year draws to a close and we all look to having a rest and festive time with family and friends, spare a thought for our courageous and dedicated field rangers who are out there still doing everything they can to save our rhinos from the scourge of poaching.
As they go out in to the bush in the sweltering December heat, they leave behind families, children and loved ones who wait anxiously for their safe return. Please pause during this December, as you share a special meal with your loved one, and remember these brave men and women who risk everything to save our rhinos for future generations.
We salute you all and we thank you for your dedication. May our rhinos stay safe and may you return safely to your loved ones.
Wishing all our friends, supporters and our ranger heroes a wonderful Festive Season and may 2015 be one where the tide does turn in favour of our rhinos.
Thank you all for your wonderful support during the year. We need your help to continue this war against poaching.
Kind regards from the team at Unite against Poaching
3 December 2014
Three men have been sentenced to 10 years in prison each for rhino poaching by the Skukuza Periodical Court in the Kruger National Park. Their charges included trespassing, illegal hunting and possession of illegal firearm and ammunition.
Julea Khasa, Thomas Mashele and Bright Chikunga were arrested in Nwanetsi in the park in October 2014. During their arrest, they were found in possession of two rhino horns.
The number of rhinos killed in the country since the beginning of the year is now above 1020. The Kruger National Park is the hardest hit having lost more than 670 rhinos in the past eleven months.
More than 344 suspected rhino poachers have been arrested since January. Thirty-eight suspected rhino poachers appeared at the Skukuza Periodical Court on Wednesday alone. Their cases have been postponed.
In the same court, two Mozambican men, Khasa, Mashele and their co-accused Chikunga from Zimbabwe were sentenced 10 years imprisonment for illegal hunting, five years for possession of firearms, 18 months for ammunitions and three months for trespassing.
The State Prosecutor Isabet Erwee says the three men were given lenient sentences because they pleaded guilty on all the charges.
Their sentences will run concurrently.
Rhino poaching continues despite all the measures that are put in place by government and various Non- Governmental Organisations aimed at curbing the illegal killing of these animals.
How propud we at Unitrans Volkswagen and Unite against Poaching were and still are at receiving this message of support from Dr Ian Player in September 2011.
We will not give up this fight!