Nikela Rhino Rescue - Saving the Wildlife of South Africa. Nikela is dedicated to saving the native animals of Africa. They strive to inspire and educate the country's next generation of wildlife conversationalist and animal experts to preserve their native culture.
|Rhino killed by poachers for its horns|
I just started working for Nikela. They are a fantastic non-profit dedicated to South African wildlife conservation and education. My first project for them is planning and running an online fundraiser to raise money for conservation efforts in South Africa protecting the endangered rhinos from poachers.
I readily admit that all I knew about rhinos before I started this project was that they are big, gray and have horns. I did not know that they are currently being hunted to the point of extinction by poachers. I expected that this would be for meat. Rhinos are huge, surely the meat form one beast would feed a village for a month. While there is a small demand for bush meat what the poachers are really after is the rhino's horns.
This is a high tech operation. The most organized poachers fly in on helicopters armed with AK-47s. In less than 10 minutes they can subdue the rhino, cut its horns off with a chainsaw or axe and be gone, leaving the assaulted animal to bleed to death.
The horns of one rhino can be worth more than $33,000 USD per pound on the black market. The average horn can weigh up to 15 pounds! Rhino horns are primarily used in Asian cultures and traditional Chinese medicine as a cure for everything from fever to cancer. The reality is that this very expensive remedy is nothing more than a placebo. Rhino horn has no real medicinal value. It is made up mostly of keratin, which is the same component that hair, fingernails, and animal hooves are made of.
The conservationists and rangers fighting to protect the rhinos make a stark contrast to the high tech and well equip poachers. These anti-poaching units often patrol on foot or by bicycles. They desperately need funding to cover ranger wages, basic equipment costs and to the training of new rangers.
With the black rhino listed as Critically Endangered and the white rhino classified as Near Threatened there is no time to waste. Without immediate action the rhinos in South Africa are facing the serious threat of extinction.
Please join me in my online efforts to raise awareness about the plight of the rhino this month. Visit www.nikela.org to learn more and PLEASE donate to the cause.