South African Minister of Environment, Barbara Creecy, has proposed increasing the yearly number of black rhinos that can be hunted from five to a maximum of 10 animals. Will hunting rhinos help conserve them or is this a turn for the worst?

At the same time, she proposed allowing international trade in white rhino horn. The decision is open for public comment until the end of September.


The government is hoping that the hunting quota increase, and legalising rhino horn trade will help rhino populations by encouraging breeding by private rhino owners.

Thankfully, a permitting and monitoring system is in place for rhino hunts. Strict conditions for hunting black rhinos stipulate that only older, post-reproductive or ‘problem’ bulls are permitted.

black rhino protect

However, the decision to increase black rhino hunting quotas has sparked debate around whether doubling the quota is going to help protect the species?

Some argue adding a monetary value to rhinos through hunting quotas will encourage conservation efforts. Others say there is no need to issue more hunting permits for the endangered rhino since in past years the smaller five-rhino quota has not been met.


Of all the rhino species, black rhinos have been hit hardest by poaching. But in South Africa, their numbers have increased over the past years. Only 800 black rhinos existed in the country almost thirty years ago. By the end of 2017, there were over 2000. It seems current efforts to preserve this elusive rhino subspecies are paying off. At Rockwood, we focus on conserving the Southern White Rhino.

conserving the Southern White Rhino

This rhino species population has grown in South Africa from less than 50 animals in 1910 to more than 15 000 in 2017. Of that, 45% of both species live on private land. But white rhino populations are still at risk, due to the high demand for rhino horn. To this day, on average, one rhino is killed every eight hours in South Africa.

As a committed conservation facility, Rockwood has taken an aggressive approach to rhino conservation. By keeping abreast with the latest in scientific conservation methods and research, we focus our energy on doing our very best in preserving white rhinos.


On average one rhino is poached every 8 hours in Africa. Which is why we at Rockwood are doing everything we can to save the species from extinction. But looking after over 300 rhinos is no small feat. We need your help.

donation to save rhinos

How Your Donation Saves Rhinos At Rockwood

No matter where they are in the world, you can join the fight to save the African rhino. Apart from visiting us as a tourist or volunteer, you can sponsor a rhino or donate towards their care. We provide a detailed breakdown of what it takes to care for rhinos, so you know that your donation goes directly towards conservation.

More »
Rhino Interaction

Lead A Fulfilling Life By Giving Back To Nature

There are two things every single person in the world has in common – the planet we live on and a choice. We can choose to be seeds – small yet significant and full of potential. Or we can be parasites – self-serving, destructive, harming the very host keeping us alive, the Earth. We can choose to give more or take more.

More »

Volunteer At Rockwood And Help Save The Rhino

Rockwood owner, Wicus, and his teams of rangers are on guard 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help protect rhinos. Health checks and collecting blood, milk and many other samples for research takes whole teams of research scientists, students, rangers and volunteers. You can help too by volunteering to work at Rockwood.

More »
sunset image of rhino's face

Rhino Poaching

Rhinos sit at the top of the food chain since they have no natural predators. Yet, poaching is driving an entire species to extinction for body parts. Over the last 20 years, we’ve discovered just how much a single species disappearing from an area can create unpredictable imbalances in an ecosystem.

More »