Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Entabeni Safari Conservancy in South Africa

Horn of plenty: American conservation student Alana Russell feeds the baby rhino at the conservation centre, which has four high-care rooms and an intensive care chamber where sick calves can receive 24-hour attention
TLC: American conservation student Alana Russell watches over the baby rhino. Almost 300 rhinos have been poached in South Africa since the start of the year, and in 2011, 448 were killed

Rhino it tastes good: Conservationist Karen Trendler says many calves successfully reared by conservationists will be released or donated to breeding programmes when they reach the age of three

The last straw: The four-month-old black baby rhino sniffs a hay bale at the Entabeni Safari Conservancy, one of the world's only dedicated orphanages for rhino calves

Playful: This four-month-old black baby rhino will receive the love and care of a team of workers dedicated to preventing the extinction of rhinos, who are poached for their horns 

Baby rhino orphaned by poachers gets some TLC of the human kind

As black market demand for rhino horn soars, baby rhinos like this little four-month-old male calf are lucky to be alive.
But this lucky fellow is the first resident of one of the world’s rhino orphanages, and is now on the receiving end of some serious love and affection from a team of dedicated rhino carers.
The 100kg (220lb) youngster is being looked after at the Entabeni Safari Conservancy in South Africa, set up specifically to care for baby rhinos who have been orphaned by poachers.

South Africa has seen a huge rise in poaching in the last few years, as the demand for rhino horn soars.
Almost 300 rhinos have been poached in South Africa since the start of the year. In 2011, 448 were killed. 

American conservation student Alana Russell, one of the orphan's carers at the centre, says the calf is 'just like you'd imagine any four-month-old to be. He'll want to feel your hair and your face with his lip and he's into everything he shouldn't be.'
The conservancy in Limpopo, 300 kms north east of Johannesburg, has four  specially designed high-care rooms and one intensive care chamber where sick calves can receive 24-hour attention. 
Inside the intensive care chamber an incubator, drips and surveillance cameras are all used to keep the precious youngsters alive and enable care 24/7.

Rhino horns have been prized for tens of centuries for their beautiful translucent color when carved into daggers, ceremonial cups, buttons, belt buckles, hair pins, and paperweights.
But it is their supposed healing properties which has fuelled the most poaching. All five of the world’s species of rhinoceros have been brought to the edge of extinction because of demand for these distinctive horns.
Conservationist Karen Trendler, known as ‘Mama Rhino’, is a veterinary nurse who has been working with rhinos for nearly 20 years.
She believes the sharp increase in poaching activity is unsustainable. 'You hate to sound alarmist, you hate to even consider that it could happen, but if the poaching continues at the current rate we could eventually see rhino go extinct,' she says. 'There are predictions that by 2015 we could have no rhino.'

Trendler cites the growing market for rhino horn in Asia and dealers who have been stockpiling reserves in case of extinction. 
In addition to this, she says, there is corruption in government and among some organizations designed to protected endangered species obstructing genuine efforts.
Many calves successfully reared by conservationists at he centre will be released or donated to breeding programmes once they reach the age of three, Trendler explains.
‘If they can go back into the wild, if they can breed, if they can successfully rear their own calves, then it’s conservation,’ she said.
The use of the horn in the traditional medicine systems of many Asian countries, from Malaysia and South Korea to India and China, has remained a constant threat for the global population of rhinos.
Their use to cure a variety of ailments has led to decreases in several important populations.

In traditional Chinese Medicine the horn, which is shaved or ground into a powder and dissolved in boiling water, is used to treat fever, rheumatism, gout, and other disorders.
According to the 16th century Chinese pharmacist Li Shi Chen, the horn could also cure snakebites, hallucinations, typhoid, headaches, carbuncles, vomiting, food poisoning, and 'devil possession'. 
Despite the popularity of the horn in traditional Asian medicines, there is scant evidence to support the plethora of claims about the healing properties of the horns, say researchers. 
In 1990, researchers at Chinese University in Hong Kong found that large doses of rhino horn extract could slightly lower fever in rats, as could other types of horn, but the concentration given by a traditional Chinese medicine specialist are many many times lower than used in those experiments.

No comments:

Post a Comment