Press Releases


February 1, 2018

Fort Worth, Texas – The International Rhino Foundation's strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. Since 2002, using objective analysis, Charity Navigator has awarded only the most fiscally responsible organizations a 4-star rating. In 2011, Charity Navigator added 17 metrics, focused on governance and ethical practices as well as measures of openness, to its ratings methodology. These Accountability & Transparency metrics, which account for 50 percent of a charity’s overall rating, reveal which charities operate in accordance with industry best practices and whether they are open with their donors and stakeholders. On June 1, 2016, we upgraded our methodology for rating each charity’s’ financial health with CN 2.1. These enhancements further substantiates the financial health of our four star charities. "The International Rhino Foundation's exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and…

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International Rhino Foundation Announces Generous Bequest from Mark Hopkins Schell

The International Rhino Foundation (IRF) is pleased to announce a recent, generous bequest of $300,000 from the estate of Mark Hopkins Schell to benefit rhino conservation and applied research. Mark Hopkins Schell was a model, actor, successful business owner, and philanthropist, who hoped that his gift for rhinos would inspire others to support animal conservation and help build a better future for all creatures on Earth. In honor of Mark’s legacy and his love for African wildlife, a portion of his gift to the IRF will benefit African rhinoceros conservation research. In March 2018, the IRF will co-host a Biological Management Workshop with WWF-South Africa. Nearly 75 rhino experts will convene to discuss topics ranging from how can the rhino conservation community best use genetic information to inform black rhino management to discussing the status of current rhino meta-population strategies and which areas within Africa are most important for future…

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January 19, 2018

Sumatran Rhino Art Exhibition: Indonesia’s Hidden Treasure Collaboration for Sumatran Rhino Conservation Jakarta, 19 January 2018— In an effort to raise awareness for the critically endangered Sumatran rhino, Tim Badak is hosting a 3-day inspiring art exhibition and charity auction from the 19th through 21 January 2018 at the National Library of Indonesia. The exhibition includes Indonesian and International artists and national brands. The Sumatran rhino is the most endangered land mammal on the planet. Two of the world’s five rhino species are found only in Indonesia. The smallest of all rhinos, fewer than 100 Sumatran rhinos remain, threatened by poaching, human encroachment, and deforestation. The crisis facing the Sumatran rhino has been a joint focus for local and international NGOs, along with the Indonesian Government and communities. Conservation actions such as protection and active management, including captive breeding, and applied research are crucial for the survival of the species.…

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March 7, 2016

IRF RESPONSE TO RHINO POACHING AT THOIRY ZOO IN FRANCE The international rhino poaching crisis has now reached Europe. Conservation groups across the world are saddened to hear of the tragic killing of a young male rhino at the Thoiry Zoo just outside of Paris. “Rhino poaching has historically targeted wild populations,” said Dr. Susie Ellis, Executive Director of the International Rhino Foundation. “This is the first such known poaching incident at a zoo. Criminal networks fairly recently began targeting museum specimens in Europe. Zoos, as living museums, now are also at risk. In response to the Paris rhino killing, we urge all zoological facilities to take serious measures to keep their rhinos safe.” The event brings the horror of rhino poaching closer to home for the western world. Rhino poaching has primarily taken place in Africa, where more than a thousand rhinos are killed every year. “Poaching is not…

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September 19, 2016

New Report Indicates Rhino Deaths Nearly Outpacing Births A new report from international wildlife experts indicates that the confirmed number of rhinos poached in Africa has increased to 1,342 rhinos in 2015. This is the highest level since poaching began to escalate in 2008 when 262 rhinos were reported poached. These losses are the highest in nearly two decades. The IUCN/SSC’s African Rhino Specialist Group (AfRSG), Asian Rhino Specialist Group (AsRSG) and TRAFFIC compiled the report for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora ahead of its upcoming Conference of the Parties in Johannesburg, South Africa. The International Rhino Foundation’s Executive Director Susie Ellis says the report demonstrates the need for a multi-faceted approach to save these endangered species. “This is troubling news as we approach World Rhino Day,” said Ellis. “Rhino champions need a team effort from around the globe to battle…

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September 7, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Trade in endangered species will not be tolerated The International Rhino Foundation (IRF) lauds the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for burning its stockpile of confiscated rhino horn on September 8, 2016. This planned destruction, which will take place at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, comes just before World Rhino Day on September 22 and weeks prior to the international world wildlife conference, CITES (see Editor’s Note, below). “This rhino horn burn sends the message to criminal networks and to rhino horn buyers that the United States will not tolerate illegal trade in rhino horn,” said IRF Executive Director Dr. Susie Ellis.  “The high demand for this commodity results in dire consequences for rhino species. Today’s burn makes clear that confiscated horns should not be stockpiled, let alone traded.” These events tend to draw heavy media coverage, highlighting the extinction risk faced by the species and…

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Rhino Experts Oppose Production and Sale of Synthetic Rhino Horn

May 18, 2015

Synthetic Rhino Horn Will Not Reduce Demand Nor Deter Poaching, Say Global Advocates In response to the emerging synthetic rhino horn industry, the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) and Save the Rhino International have declared their opposition to the manufacture, marketing and sale of the product. The two rhino conservation organizations released a joint statement calling synthetic rhino horn trade ineffective at reducing the rising demand and sale of authentic rhino horn in Vietnam and China and, therefore, potentially counterproductive in curbing the current poaching crisis that threatens rhino species with extinction. “Selling synthetic horn does not reduce the demand for rhino horn or and could lead to more poaching because it increases the demand for ‘the real thing,’” said Susie Ellis, executive director of IRF. “In addition, production of synthetic horn encourages its purported medicinal value, even though science does not support any medical benefits. And, importantly, questions arise as…

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May 12, 2016

LAMPUNG, Indonesia — The International Rhino Foundation (IRF) is pleased to announce the birth of a female rhino calf born to Ratu, a 14-year-old Sumatran rhino living at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) in Indonesia’s Way Kambas National Park. The calf was born on May 12 at 4:42 a.m. with no complications, attended by SRS veterinarians, keepers and a handful of international advisors. Sumatran rhinos are critically endangered, and there are fewer than 100 left in the world. This is the second birth of a Sumatran rhino in an Indonesian facility in more than 128 years. Ratu made history in when she gave birth to her first calf, a male named Andatu, in 2012. The International Rhino Foundation established the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in 1997, and this second birth shows that the expertise exists in Indonesia to contribute to the Sumatran rhino population’s growth. The Sanctuary's dedicated staff are top-notch…

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Critically Endangered Sumatran Rhino Pregnant with Second Baby

Sept. 22, 2015

Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary celebrates World Rhino Day with new hope for the species FORT WORTH, Texas — A new rhino calf will soon join five other rhinos at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Indonesia’s Way Kambas National Park, offering new hope for the endangered species. Female rhino ‘Ratu,’ who wandered out of the rain forest in 2005, will give birth in May. Her first calf, ‘Andatu,’ was born at the facility in 2012. Andatu, as well as the new calf-to-be, was fathered by ‘Andalas,’ born at the Cincinnati Zoo and moved to Indonesia from the Los Angeles Zoo in 2007. Today’s announcement gives special significance to World Rhino Day, which is intended to increase awareness and support for the five remaining species of rhinos. Increasingly, all rhino species are facing serious threats from poaching to habitat loss and conservation experts are working against the clock to save them. “The Sumatran…

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Environmentalists Call for Trade Sanctions Against Mozambique for Rhino and Elephant Poaching

July 2, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) announced they are petitioning the Obama Administration to impose trade sanctions against Mozambique in response to rampant poaching. Since 2010, Mozambican nationals have slaughtered up to 1,862 rhinos in South Africa, as well as thousands of elephants in Tanzania and Mozambique. President Obama is authorized under the Pelly Amendment to the U.S. Fishermen’s Protective Act to enact trade sanctions against any nation certified to be undermining an international conservation agreement. EIA and IRF filed a petition under the Pelly Amendment to certify that Mozambique has been in constant violation of international rhino and elephant regulations for many years through ongoing illegal trade in rhino horn and elephant ivory. Poaching by Mozambicans undermines the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a multilateral treaty to protect wildlife against over-exploitation and…

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Black Rhino Hunting Safari Auction Highlights Need to Save All Rhinos

October 29, 2013

Much media attention has been directed this past week to the Dallas Safari Club's intention to auction off a permit to hunt a black rhino in Namibia, the proceeds to go towards preserving this magnificent and critically endangered species. The International Rhino Foundation does not condone the hunt, but recognizes that it is legal under Namibian and United States law, and under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). We respect Namibia's efforts to maintain a healthy rhino population as well as raise money for the important work of conserving the species. That said, we note that the fate of one hunted rhino pales in comparison to the nearly 800 rhinos lost to illegal poaching in South Africa alone this year and to escalating poaching losses in Namibia and other range countries where rhinos once thrived but now are barely hanging on. The…

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First Baby Born at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary

At 12:40 am on Saturday, June 23, 2012, Ratu, one of the three adult female rhinos at Indonesia’s Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, gave birth to a 60-lb male calf. Not only was this Ratu’s first baby, but it was the first Sumatran rhino ever born in captivity in Indonesia and only the fifth ever born in captivity worldwide. “This is a historic birth because Sumatran rhinos are on the brink of extinction,” said Novianto Bambang, director of biodiversity conservation at Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry. Biologists estimate that only 150 to 200 individuals survive in Indonesia and Sabah, Malaysia. The baby was born after a 16-month gestation period, which is about average for African and Asian rhino species. Indonesian veterinarian, Dr. Dedi Candra, managed Ratu’s pregnancy on a daily basis, with help from Dr. Terri Roth of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, which has bred more Sumatran rhinos in captivity than…

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