Save the Rhino International
Huge declines in numbers
All five remaining species of rhino are in serious trouble. Over the past few decades there has been a drastic decline in population numbers fuelled by the illegal rhino horn trade, habitat loss and political conflict.
At the beginning of the 20th century there were 500,000 rhinos across Africa and Asia. This fell to just 70,000 by 1970, further dropping to just 29,000 in the wild today. At this rate of decline, this majestic species is in very real danger of extinction. In Africa alone the number of rhino poached has increased for the sixth year in a row with at least 1,338 rhinos killed in 2015.
Supporting Dog Patrols
In 2015 staff and visitors, with a little help from Woburn’s own white rhino, helped raise vital funds for Save the Rhino International, an organisation dedicated to saving all five remaining species of rhino.
The money raised at Woburn helped to fund the Rhino Dog Squad an initiative that helps protect rhinos across four wildlife conservancies in Kenya; Ol Jogi, Ol Pejeta, Lewa and Borana.
This program plays a pivotal role in protecting rhino in the wild by providing tracker, scent and attack dogs. The tracker dogs are used to track poachers over huge distances and across rough terrain; scent dogs are trained to detect illegal substances such as rhino horn, guns and ammunition and therefore are vital at checkpoints, and finally attack dogs are trained to bite and hold rhino poachers.
Woburn Safari Park was the top zoo fundraiser for the Dog Squad appeal in 2015, raising over £9,000. This money will fund the training of the dogs and handlers, veterinary care and equipment.
Over the Mayday weekend 2016, the rhino keepers organised another fundraising event for Save the Rhino International.
The weekend was packed full of fun activities including face painting, lucky dips, children’s activities and opportunities to get up close and meet our beautiful white rhino. For just £10 per person, visitors enjoyed a VIP mini tour with keepers, to meet the rhino herd close up! Lucky visitors got to meet the four individual Southern white rhino living at the Park, learned about their personalities, daily routines and behaviours.
The hard working team and generous visitors raised over £2,300, which will go directly to Save the Rhino International where it will be used to help reduce poaching, reduce habitat loss, monitor rhino numbers and educate people about this majestic species.