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Safeguarding Africa's rhinos

African Wildlife Foundation

In the wild, the adult black or white rhino has no predators except for humans. Rhinos are hunted and killed for their horns. The major demand for rhino horn is in Asia, where it is used in ornamental carvings and traditional medicine. Rhino horn is touted as a cure for hangovers, cancer, and impotence. Their horns are not true horns; they are actually made of keratin--the same material that makes up our hair and nails. Truly, rhino horn is as effective at curing cancer as chewing on your fingernails.

The Gordon and Patricia Gray Animal Welfare Foundation responded to a wish list by the AWF to protect the rhinos in the Great Fish River Nature Reserve in South Africa, including:

1) General support and for predator-proof bomas (fences) in Kitenden Wildlife Corridor

2) Purchase of an inverter and battery assembly. The generator at GFRNR which would run throughout the day burned diesel fuel,
negatively impacting the local environment, while powering only a handful of appliances and satellite telephones. An inverter and battery assembly not only resulted in a net savings of nearly $20,000 per annum, but also reduced the hydrocarbon load by at least 40-50%, allowing for a greener operational footprint.

3) Purchase of three motorcyles for deployment. The current fleet of vehicles at GFRNR was aging. Replacing the ailing fleet with these motorcycles would save the ECPTA from costly and continual maintenance requirements and make deployment much more effective. The motorcycles will be used for deployment of the rangers from their bases to the chosen areas of operation without having to dispatch a vehicle to carry small teams, saving ECPTA 60-80% in deployment costs. The efficient deployment of rangers from three bases means more effective biological and fence monitoring and increased security for the critical black rhino.

The Gordon and Patricia Gray Animal Welfare Foundation's support helped the further the AWF's mission to safeguard Africa's wildlife and wild lands.

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