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World Rhino Day: Lotteries Fund KZN Rhino Projects

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (Ezemvelo) has started implementing a suite of projects to the value of R26.8 million (€1.89 million) as part of the Rhino Protection Programme, funded by the €15.4 million Dutch and Swedish postcode lotteries grant to Peace Parks Foundation.

Taking rhino orphans into care

The following projects are now under way:

  • Field rangers are being trained and the skills of existing staff have been enhanced;
  • Detectives and prosecutors are undergoing wildlife crime scene training courses;
  • Rangers are being supported with operational and tactical equipment such as night vision goggles;
  • Secure communication networks are being established across the province’s rhino reserves;
  • The use of technology in the form of surveillance cameras at strategic locations and the testing of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones); and
  • Resources have been provided to strengthen the capacity of wildlife veterinary surgeons to treat the rhino that survive the brutal attacks by poachers and to take rhino orphans into care.
Mr Werner Myburgh, CEO of Peace Parks Foundation and Dr Bandile Mkhize, CEO of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife

These projects are being implemented as part of an agreement signed between Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and Peace Parks Foundation on 9 April 2014. The projects are enhancing the existing rhino management and protection activities by Ezemvelo.
Dr Bandile Mkhize, CEO of Ezemvelo, welcomed the rollout of the projects, saying: “Ezemvelo is determined to save the rhino for future generations to enjoy. We welcome the support to strengthen our efforts. Working with the local communities and other partners, we are combining efforts to ensure the rhino’s survival.”

Werner Myburgh, CEO of Peace Parks Foundation said: “We are very pleased to see the first projects from lotteries’ grant get off the ground. Since the funding was received in May, a number of project implementation agreements have been signed, research and other projects started. These projects are the first of more to come in other areas in our region to secure rhino populations”

On this World Rhino Day, please see this page for the latest news on the Rhino Protection Programme.

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