Rhino Poaching in South Africa

26 01 2011

Sorry, this image is not available.In 2010 more than 260 rhinos were killed in South Africa (in 2009 only ~130 were killed).

That’s almost 1 a day, which is a lot considering that there may be as few as 3,000 wild rhinos left in the world… just 40 years ago there were over 70,000!

Rhinos are slaughtered for their horns which are sought after for dagger handles (yeah, we know: random).

Around the world, people have taken note of these horrible (and criminal) poachings.  Recently a huge international movement to stop this illegal industry has grown with help from the World Wildlife Foundation.

Governments, conservation groups, and game lodges are working together to save the rhinos, and World Challenge is doing its’ part too!

In Namibia the Waterberg Plateau is home to a number of threatened species including black and white rhinos, sable antelope and blue wildebeest. Nearly 40 rangers work to protect the park, and it’s a total labor of love!  Imagine spending days scanning the horizon from a tin hut, some without even a toilet or shower.

This summer, World Challenge teams will be working alongside these rangers to improve the huts in order for even longer patrols to take place. Teams will be building hut-extensions so rangers can store their tools and equipment, cook indoors, and potentially enjoy the luxury of a real toilet and shower block.  World Challenge is also helping to build a brand new school for the rangers children.

We’re very excited about this project and hope it will help preserve the rhino population; best of luck to the teams traveling there this summer!

Want to learn more?  PBS made a documtary a few years back about rhino poaching.  Watch the clip below…

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