Rhino Donation – Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC)

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Both black and white rhino populations in South Africa are under serious threat due to poaching. This barbaric and illegal practice has sky rocketed since 2008, increasing from an average of ten to twenty rhinos poached a year to a devastating 668 in 2012, 1004 in 2013, 1215 in 2014, 1175 in 2015 and over 256 so far in 2016 (WESSA’s Rhino Poaching Stats). The dramatic increase in poaching incidents is directly related to the incredibly high black market value for the horn, which is used for various medicinal and ornamental purposes in Asia.

Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) have experienced first-hand the heart break and devastation as a result of rhino poaching after their beloved hand-reared rhinos, Ronnie and Lahliwe, were killed by poachers in 1994.  ‘On 30 August 2013, when a reserve discovered that poachers had struck them and three of their rhinos had been darted and dehorned, we stepped in to offer our expertise and a home for the treatment and protection of the two female rhinos that had survived. Unfortunately, the bull rhino was not as fortunate.’

‘Due to this increase in the number of rhinos killed, it has become essential for us to expand our current facilities. And in so doing, we will provide land, facilities as well as support in the rescue, relocation and care of orphaned, traumatised and injured rhinos.  At such a critical time, each and every individual rhino becomes important to ensure that sufficient animals are protected to conserve the genetic viability of the species. It is essential l that wounded and orphaned rhinos are given a second chance, whatever the cost.’

All funds raised through their Rhino Fostering Program are channelled directly into the Rescued Rhinos @ HESC, South Africa.  Our partners and friends Goway Travel have partnered with Thompsons Africa to support this worthy initiative and we were so proud to have been a part of the handover of a cheque to the value of ZAR 80 000.00 by Goway Travel to HESC at Indaba 2017.