Rhinos Under Attack in Southern Africa

Monday 13 December 2021


In the last week devastating news has emerged from South Africa as at least 23 rhino have been found poached in just 36 hours. In the 10 years of Helping Rhinos, I have only known one day worse than this, and it is truly heartbreaking.

South Africa is home to 80% of Africa's rhinos and in the last six years the number of rhino poached each year has been in decline, and while way too many rhino are still losing their lives at the hands of poachers, I felt we were on the road to a continued fall in poaching numbers – until the last few days. It feels like a step back in time

We are once again seeing distressing images of numerous rhinos lying dead with their faces hacked off. We are seeing rescues of baby rhinos; orphaned after the brutal murder of their mum. 

This is all happening at a time when funding to keep anti-poaching patrols operational is more at risk than ever before, due to the loss of tourism income in Southern Africa. Our teams on the ground have done an amazing job in keeping as many Rangers on patrol as resources will allow, but their funds are drying up.

The December holidays are notoriously a challenging time and we regretably see a spike in poaching incidents at this time.

We need to come together now to ensure we provide the best possible protection for rhino.

Rhino poaching is an international problem, and more than ever before, it desperately needs an international response. There are amazingly dedicated men and women who put their lives at risk every day to protect the world’s critically endangered rhino populations. Their holiday season will now involve spending longer hours in the remote bush, totally committed to protecting rhino, but knowing that they could encounter poachers at any moment. With your help we can support these Rangers, keep them on patrol and fund their increased hours. 

Together we can protect more rhino.

Please donate to help us keep rhinos protected in this most desperate and exceptional of times. They are counting on you. 

With utmost gratitude for your continued support.

Simon Jones
Founder and CEO, Helping Rhinos

“I’ve got this knot in my stomach and I am petrified that this is now going to start again - it’s like somebody has switched the poachers back on. I am cancelling all Christmas leave as we need to be at full capacity.”

Craig Spencer 
Founder and Director
The Black Mambas

“We are all terrified that we will be next on the poacher's hitlist. December is always a high pressure month and with the Full moon on 19th December, we have to make sure we have as many Rangers on Patrol as we can."

Karen Odendaal 
Managing Director
Zululand Conservation Trust

“We’re all feeling the pressure and it’s a very difficult time. Everyone has been asked to do more patrols to try and keep the wolf from the door. Any help from the outside world would be highly appreciated”

Dr William Fowlds 
Wildlife Veterniarian
Director, ARCC