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In the Air for Rhinos

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

Please donate here to help save rhinos.

In our day to day lives most of us are distanced from a dangerous and brutal reality – one that results in the death and destruction of rhinos, and one that is costing human lives.

On the ground, or more accurately in the air in South Africa, an incredibly brave and dedicated team, give up their time and put their own safety at risk, to fly to the aid of injured rhinos.

In just a decade, more than 7,245 African rhinos have been lost to poaching; a number that grows day on day, week on week, as a result of the brutal killing fuelled by a growing demand from Asian markets for rhino horn.

Rhino horn is made of keratin, the same protein that makes up our own hair and nails. Find out more about the work we support to fight this needless wildlife crime by learning about the key threats, composition of rhino horn and efforts to reducing demand in Asian markets – read here.

Rhino911 are a rapid response helicopter unit focused on providing lifesaving aid to rhinos that have become victim to poaching. In this January alone, a month where we celebrate new beginnings, the team operating across parts of South Africa saw the death of 10 rhinos, and just a few days ago, recorded this tragic footage showing a traumatised rhino calf, distraught and confused at the loss of her mother, and left defenceless at only a month old.

With the unwavering dedication of volunteer pilots and support teams they are able to cover the vast areas of difficult terrain that separate those protecting rhinos from the locations of poaching incidents, with a dramatically reduced response time.  The speed of their response means that these all too frequent, horrifying incidents, are more likely to result in a rhino life saved, poacher arrests, and the rescue of innocent calves left orphaned by the tragedy.

The team were able to reach the innocent little rhino in the video above, too late to save her mother, but in time to rescue her; dehydrated, but luckily otherwise unharmed to give her a second chance at life.

Her name is Charlotte, or ‘Lottie’ for short.

The incredible team behind Rhino911 fight for the lives of rhinos under extremely difficult circumstances. They face an onslaught of difficulties and challenges, and their rapid response can also lead to direct confrontation with poachers, putting the helicopter unit at risk of open fire, and ultimately their lives on the line. In situations such as this protectors and poachers of rhino’s can lose their lives; tragedies that leave families and communities bereaved.

The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation is proud to announce our partnership and support of this heroic project. With your support we can fund Rhino911 to keep their donated helicopter in the air. A donation of just £10 will fund enough fuel to keep them flying for 10 minutes.  This could mean the difference between the life or death of another precious rhino.

Please donate here to help put an end to the slaughter.

To read more about Rhino911 please click here.

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