Educate and Inform

Saving the future of rhinos in South Africa is going to take more than just anti-poaching courses and critical response training.

The Vulnerability of Rhinos and Private Game Reserves

Despite their hardy appearance, African rhinos are incredibly sensitive and ill-equipped to defend themselves against highly specialised poachers. These criminals, possibly linked to the wildlife and conservation industry, possess military training and the necessary tools, such as thermal and night vision devices.

 They are armed with dart guns and have access to highly restricted sedation drugs, chain saws, and the necessary skills to exploit the vulnerabilities of a 7,500-hectare game reserve. To avoid detection, they strike between anti-poaching security teams and avoid the use of loud and recognisable gunshots.

Prevention & Preparation

Veterinarians, whether domestic or wildlife specialists, rarely encounter such atrocities. Many attacked rhinos survive initially, only to be euthanised later due to a lack of available resources, expertise, and specialised equipment needed to save them. This grim reality highlights the helplessness of our rhinos, as well as the vulnerability of private game reserves to such attacks.

The Foundation of Saving Private Rhino

The horrific poaching incident on Aquila’s rhino population exposed the ongoing struggle to protect South Africa’s wildlife. This tragedy became the catalyst for the establishment of the Saving Private Rhino initiative. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, SMS, and email played a significant role in spreading awareness. 

The incident’s viral nature united people, not just within South Africa, but  internationally too. Places like the United States, Australia, and Europe, garnered much-needed support, donations, and empathy for Africa’s rhinos.

Overwhelming Support & Progress

The response to the initiative was unprecedented, extending beyond industry insiders to encompass widespread support from businesses and the general public. Without any planned campaign, donations totalling R250,000 were pledged and received from around the world within just two weeks. 

Aquila extends its heartfelt gratitude to everyone for their support and reaffirms its commitment to drive the Saving Private Rhino initiative forward.

“I cannot explain the emotions one feels when you hear the human like cries of pain from an adult male rhino that I once nurtured to make sure he would adapt well to the Aquila environment. Helpless and desperate feelings are motivating me to fight back. I will utilise my extensive experience in the security industry to ensure the deaths of our two rhinos are not in vain. ‘Saving Private Rhino’s’ efforts will save the lives of many rhinos. I believe that every rhino in the world has a dart or bullet with its name on it! The odds lie with the poachers and not with the security teams, who are there to protect our rhino.” 

Searl Derman, CEO Aquila Private Game Reserve

Educate The Way Forward

The Saving Private Rhino initiative combines key focus areas for an aggressive, anti-poaching campaign:

(Please note, for security purposes, considerable information has been withheld.)

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