The Wilderness Foundation expresses its ongoing concern at the recent poaching of 4 white rhino in the Eastern Cape at the Lombardini Game Reserve over the past three weeks. In these poaching incidents, a male as well as a female and her young calf were butchered. The state of the 4th poached rhino is unknown at present.
The Wilderness Foundation, through their Forever Wild Rhino Protection Initiative and along with the owner of Lombardini Game Reserve, Johan Lottering, are offering a R100 000 reward for information leading to a successful arrest and prosecution of those involved in this incident. If the public have any information that could assist in the apprehension of these perpetrators, they are to contact the Wildlife Crime Tip-off Line on 078 696 9494.
“The poaching of rhino is out of hand, and we need to put a stop to it. We are appealing to the public to please come forward with any information that can assist us with this matter”, urges Johan Lottering.
“As conservation organisations, game reserve owners and the public, we all need to stand together to fight this ongoing scourge. It is being driven by greed and apart from the horrific loss of life is rapidly undoing all the good work that has given South Africa its reputation as a leader in conservation”, says Matthew Norval, Chief Operations Officer at the Wilderness Foundation.
About the Wildlife Operations Group
The Wildlife Operations Group is a multi-agency partnership whose overarching objective is the reduction in the incidence of and the successful prosecution of wildlife related crime. This will be achieved through a multidisciplinary approach which includes: research and development; training; support investigation and operational activities in order to meet the objective.
Wilderness Foundation, Indalo Private Game Reserve Association, SAPS Hawks, Eastern Cape Parks and
Tourism Agency, South African National Parks, Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development,
Environmental Affairs and Tourism.
ABOUT THE WILDERNESS FOUNDATION FOREVER WILD RHINO PROTECTION INTIATIVE
The Wilderness Foundation’s Forever Wild Conservation Programme was developed in 2011 as a response to the rhino poaching crisis and has been active through the Rhino Protection Initiative. In 2013 the Programme was expanded to include lion, leopard, elephant, gorilla and great white shark conservation initiatives as they represent key species symptomatic of the challenges facing the environments in which they live.
The initiative primarily provides logistical and operational support for conservation and law enforcement
agencies responsible for rhino security. It is also involved in raising public awareness of the rhino poaching crisis (such as information boards, displays, leaflets, radio and media campaigns) and manages a Rhino Antipoaching tip off line. Other activities include the coordination of anti-poaching training, aerial assistance, vehicle support, intelligence gathering and specialist support, as well as a Rhino survivor fund, Eastern Cape Rhino DNA and tracking device project and a rhino survivor research project in the Kruger National Park.
ABOUT THE WILDERNESS FOUNDATION
The Wilderness Foundation works in many countries from its base in South Africa to protect wildlife and
wilderness in partnership with local communities. Whether it is direct action anti-poaching in the field, large landscape wilderness management, or developing rising young leaders from disadvantaged communities for a career in conservation, the Wilderness Foundation has over 40 years of results.
The Foundation was established in 1972 by conservation pioneer Dr Ian Player, who led the team that saved the white rhino from extinction in the 1960’s, an action-legacy that the Wilderness Foundation continues today, working against wildlife crime and combating the rhino poaching crisis.
The Wilderness Foundation focuses on four main programme areas: Wildlife and Wilderness Conservation, Social Intervention, Leadership & Education, and Advocacy & Awareness. The Wilderness Foundation is also anactive partner in the globally-focused “Wilderness Network,” a close-knit and talented group based on the values of: a passion for direct conservation action; respect for all living things; a deep commitment to conservation education; and with operations that demonstrate integrity, transparency, sustainability, and innovation.
“We envisage a world that has sufficient intact natural ecosystems and wilderness areas that are valued and effectively protected for the benefit of all species.”