We’re proud to support a number of animal charities doing incredible work around the globe. One of our biggest passion projects is working with the Wilderness Foundation Africa to protect endangered rhino.
Across the African continent rhino poaching has reached horrific levels. In South Africa alone, a rhino is killed every eight hours for their horn due to the false belief that it contains medicinal properties able to cure cancer, fever, and gout. The only people who benefit from a rhino’s horn are the poachers making a profit from the illicit trade.
The future of one of the planet’s most noble creatures is under threat and if we do nothing to help fight this illegal trade, the rhino population will decline to extinction. Charities such as Wilderness Foundation Africa do invaluable work in combatting the crisis, but they can’t do it alone.
We've committed our passion and resources to help stop crimes against wild animals and their environment. As part of this commitment, we’ve partnered with Dr William Fowlds – once a member of the Medivet family – through the Wilderness Foundation Africa, to develop, implement and support the rhino protection initiative in South Africa.
Working with Dr William Fowlds
Dr William Fowlds, the Wilderness Foundation Africa Medivet Project Co-ordinator, started his career at Medivet as a veterinary surgeon, later leaving to pursue a career as a wildlife vet in South Africa.
A harrowing encounter with rhino poaching sparked Dr Fowlds’ passion for conservation in 2012 after he was called out to help deal with three mutilated rhino who’d been illegally darted and left for dead near his home. While one rhino died from its injuries, two miraculously survived. Following this, Fowlds travelled the world to tell the story of Themba and Thandi’s fight for survival and help raise awareness.
Supporting Thandi and Themba marked the beginning of Medivet’s involvement in campaigning for the rhino. In 2014, we took our involvement further and provided the funds needed to purchase a digital X-ray machine used to treat the survivors of poaching attacks, as well software used to track rhinos undergoing treatment.
The Medivet Saving the Rhino campaign raises funds to support a number of ongoing initiatives. These include:
- Dog detection and protection
- Rhino rescue and rehabilitation
- Public education and awareness campaigns
- Stricter laws and ethics
To date, Medivet Rhino has raised more than £400,000 to help fund this rhino protection program.
One of the key initiatives we support is the Dog Detection programme in South Africa. This programme trains an elite group of canines to patrol rhino habitats areas along with their trainers. They specialise in patrolling borders, tracking poachers, and sniffing out firearms and contraband like rhino horn and ivory.
A remarkable group of dogs who share a unique bond with their dedicated trainers, their teamwork is a valuable deterrent and boasts 90% accuracy in detecting rhino horn in luggage and shipments. The Wilderness Foundation Africa has reported several arrests made possible due to these skilled dogs.
Donations from our Medivet Saving the Rhino campaign help meet the costs of ongoing training for these courageous canines and their brave handlers, veterinary treatment and the purchasing of vital equipment.
Ella is one of the dogs Medivet has helped sponsor to become a rhino protector. A Bloodhound Doberman cross with an amazing sense of smell, she was specially selected by the Chipimbere Rhino Foundation to be part of the Wilderness Foundation Africa's Forever Wild Rhino Protection Initiative. A “cold scent” tracker dog, Ella can effectively follow older tracks – a vital skill used to track and apprehend poachers who have long vacated the scene of the crime.
The cost of training Ella, her handler, support vehicle and accommodation has been funded by the Medivet Rhino program and by the generous donations of Medivet clients.
Watch Ella celebrate her one-year anniversary with Rhino Protection.
The Medivet Rhino Rehabilitation Enclosure
We sponsored the building of the Medivet Rhino Rehabilitation Enclosure, an enclosure that provides a protected area for rhino victims of poaching attacks. Here, our vets can safely provide treatment and care to help save these endangered animals. The enclosure is also a safe haven for baby rhinos who’ve been orphaned due to horrendous poaching attacks.
Noelle and Winston: two orphaned baby rhinos settle into the Medivet Enclosure
The enclosure has been used to help give baby rhinos such as Noelle and Winston a second chance at life. Noelle arrived at the Medivet rhino rehabilitation enclosure at the beginning of 2016. She was later joined by a male rhino calf called Winston. Both calves are great examples of the enclosure’s value.
We need your help to fund lifesaving projects and help secure the future of the rhino in Africa. We fundraise for Medivet Saving the Rhino throughout the year and welcome any support you’re able to offer – no matter how big or small.