It’s no longer something in the distant future – it’s officially happening. Nature is declining globally at previously unimagined rates. One million species are careering toward extinction. We are only at the start of Earth’s sixth mass extinction. But it’s not too late.
The UN’s recent biodiversity report says if we commit to change on all levels, nature can still be conserved, restored and used sustainably.
So, what can you do to make a change? How can you help end one of Africa’s most urgent wildlife crises? How do you help save the southern white rhino? It doesn’t mean you have to donate money. One of the best ways to become an active philanthropist and contribute to real change in the world is to volunteer your time. Like many other species, Africa’s rhinos are heading rapidly towards extinction, and it’s going to take more than money if we’re going to save them. They need your help.
“It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.” ―Albert Einstein”
THE PLIGHT OF AFRICA’S RHINOS
Every day an average of three rhinos are killed in South Africa by illegal poachers who fuel Asia’s insatiable demand for rhino horn. Approximately 1 000 rhinos die in South Africa alone every year. If we don’t stop this, we will see the last wild rhinos on Earth disappear in this lifetime.
The world is struggling to convince Asian consumers that rhino horn, which is made of keratin like your fingernails, has no medicinal or status value whatsoever. But one man refuses to give up. Despite facing the constant danger of poachers, Wicus Diedericks is doing whatever he can to conserve a small population of Africa’s last remaining wild rhinos.
With his ‘aggressive conservation’ method, he has brought more than 100 rhino calves into the world and, currently protects over 300 Southern White rhinos at Rockwood. But he can’t do it alone.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
The rhino project at Rockwood has become so successful that Wicus and his team can no longer do it alone and need help. With so many rhinos to care for, plus the general running of the facility, extra hands are needed desperately. Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it will take the world to protect rhinos.
Rockwood is calling on you, the global philanthropist, to volunteer your time and help save the rhino from extinction. By volunteering at Rockwood, you will gain invaluable life experience. Plus, earn the personal reward of being involved in one of the most critical rhino conservation projects in South Africa.
YOUR DAILY VOLUNTEER ROUTINE INCLUDES:
- Feeding rhinos and other animals
- Monitor rhino health with rangers
- Upkeep of rhino camps
- Assist in data collection
- Assist vets
- Provide care for orphaned animals
- Check and maintain camera traps
- Clean and maintain horse stables
- Feed and care for horses
- Grooming and working with foals
- Check and maintain fences and gates
- Provide care and attention for any orphaned or injured animals in our care
OTHER VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES INCLUDE:
- Learn to ride horses and join Rockwood’s rangers in monitoring rhinos on horseback
- Take part in electronic chipping and collecting samples
- Develop activities and lessons for local schools and community engagement
- Photograph and write about events and experiences at Rockwood
- Help capture data onto research database
- At Rockwood, you will get to experience hands-on conservation efforts and be part of making a real difference. So, break out of your comfort zone, live life, embrace your passions and volunteer in Africa.
BECOME A PHILANTHROPIST, VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME.
Rockwood welcomes anyone interested in helping conserve the rhino species. Our doors are open to those who are willing to make a real change, from philanthropists to researchers and conservations. Read more, here.
Africa’s giraffe populations are quietly diminishing. Known as the “silent extinction”, 40% of giraffes have vanished since the 1980s. Where once the continent was teeming with these graceful giants, only 68 000 now remain. Like most other species, habitat loss, poaching and the effects of civil unrest threaten their survival.
In the late 1800s, about 850 000 black rhinos existed in Africa. But, due to unregulated killing, only 100 000 remained by 1960. By 1995, just 2410 black rhinos remained. However, Africa’s black rhino population has more than doubled since the 1990s. Could we finally be seeing a payoff to decades of committed rhino conservation?
After the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, many of China’s wet markets (where animals are sold as food or pets) were shut down. ‘Wildlife’ markets, on the other hand, sell live wild animals (often illegally obtained). The commercial sale of wild animals for pets, traditional medicines, or ornamental uses has not been outlawed.
From a population of around 10 000 white rhinos and 600 black rhinos in 2010, the numbers are now down to approximately 3 549 white rhinos and 268 black rhinos. Most rhinos were poached in Kruger National Park. If this trend continues, the entire rhino population currently protected by Kruger might be wiped out by 2030.
2020 hasn’t been easy for anyone — the effects of Covid-19 reached far and wide, and were felt in the realm of rhino conservation too. But, no matter what challenges come our way, we persevere and give our all to saving the Southern white rhino. We’d like to share nine conservation success stories from Rockwood for 2020.
We’re always looking for new ways to initiate rhino conservation. So when South Africa’s leading grill company, Megamaster, approached us about a collaboration, we were super excited. The key ingredient in Megamaster’s innovative new eco-friendly firelighter, called Rhino Balls, is our very own rhinos’ dung.