Because of You, the Next Generation of Conservationists Emerges in Zimbabwe
IRF is committed to doing what it takes to ensure that rhinos survive for future generations. In 2019, because of our donors’ generosity, we saw the possibilities for the next generation of both rhinos and people. Will you join us this year, and help educate the next generation of rhino conservationists?
Poaching remains a serious threat, with losses currently outnumbering births. Nearly 900 rhinos were killed in Africa last year — one rhino every 10 hours. When a mother is killed, her calf is in significant danger as well.
IRF’s partner in Zimbabwe, the Lowveld Rhino Trust (LRT), was able to rescue five orphans for hand-raising after their mothers were killed by poachers.
Nurtured and protected in special enclosures, the orphans were ready for release back to the wild in early 2019. The LRT conducts extensive monitoring activities in Southeastern Zimbabwe and will continue to track the orphans as they adjust into their new habitats.
“To date, all five orphans are doing well in the wild, and adjusting to their new environment,” said Raoul du Toit, director of the LRT.
From young rhinos to young students, the LRT is fostering the next generation in the rural Lowveld. The LRT runs a Rhino Conservation Awareness Program in 148 primary schools on the boundaries of the Save and Bubye Valley Conservancies, home to populations of both white and black rhinos in Zimbabwe.
“We believe very strongly in engaging local populations in conservation,” said Natasha Anderson, Rhino Monitoring Coordinator at the LRT.
In 2019, because of you, the popular Rhino Cards that are distributed to students were updated. The LRT has worked with more than 280 teachers, and the cards are now aligned to the educational curriculum in the schools.
“Unless rhinos are seen as having value to these communities, they will have little reason to help protect them or accept that rhinos need land to live on as well,” said du Toit.
430 sets of cards were distributed this year and the kids enjoy learning about conservation in their backyards and the importance of protecting rhinos and their habitats. One day, these students might grow into rangers, researchers or political leaders, helping to reverse poaching trends and make management and policy decisions to ensure that future generations of Zimbabwe’s people and wildlife prosper.
Your gift today supports the rhino monitoring units that saved five orphan rhinos that are now back in the wild, and the educational programs that are shaping young students into future conservationists.
Because of You, a bright future is possible in Zimbabwe.
To keep supporting rhino conservation year-round, please consider making a monthly donation. By becoming a recurring donor, you’ll be joining a special, dedicated group of conservationists reaching out each month to fund continuous anti-poaching patrols for the world’s most threatened rhino populations. Make a monthly donation here.