In association with Save the Rhino, we are committed to supporting the Lowveld Rhino Trust in Zimbabwe. Illegal poaching of rhino horn for use in traditional Asian medicine and as status symbols, coupled with continued risk of habitat loss and political conflict all threaten the survival of the these two iconic rhino species.
In 2013, over 1,000 rhinos were killed for their horns (that’s 1 every 10 hours!) with the trend set to increase as demand continues to soar. As the poaching crisis deepens, the LRT aims to provide vital on-going support for Southern central black and white rhinoceros, whilst encouraging eco-system preservation by communities in the surrounding areas.
Continual monitoring, treatment and translocation of individuals in the Bubye and Save Vallies, as well as the Malilangwe conservancies, which together constitute over 20% of the total land area of Zimbabwe is essential to ensure detection of poachers and administration of medical care for the remaining populations. As a result of reduced poaching rates over the past 5 years, through the work of tracking and monitoring teams, populations across the species’ range have remained relatively stable compared to other areas of Southern Africa.
In May 2012, one of our Rhino keepers visited the project to offer her assistance with the tracking and translocation of critically endangered Southern central black rhino. She got involved in taking blood samples, body measurements and microchipping whilst the rhinos were sedated in order to monitor their health and make them individually identifiable.
Whilst there, she also got to see how the LRT works closely with land owners and the local communities to establish and maintain secure and effective anti-poaching units as well as supporting teachers to raise awareness of the local wildlife to their students and the benefits that can be gained by looking after them.
To discover more about the fantastic work that Save the Rhino are doing around the world to protect the five remaining rhino species, visit savetherhino.org.