At last year’s gala event, we collected R485,500.00 to help with the fight against Rhino poaching. As you know we entrusted these funds to WESSA (the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa) and they gave us their undertaking to spend the funds wisely for this cause.
Forensic Lab at Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at Onderstepoort
This past week we were able to see first-hand how these funds have been spent at the Forensic Lab at Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at Onderstepoort. It was shocking to see the sheer number of rhinos we have lost to poaching.
Each drawer in these cabinets is filled with case files, representing a rhino lost since 2010! We were very moved by this sight! The Laboratory collects DNA from poached Rhinos which can then be used to link individuals or Rhino horn to a specific crime, making conviction much easier.
This is the piece of equipment your generous contributions paid for. The Homogenizer plays an important role in preparing samples for the DNA extraction process.
The Rhino Ambassador Programme
The Rhino Ambassador Programme is overseen by the Kruger to Canyon (K2C) Biosphere who identified the relevant Rhino Ambassadors and Environmental Monitors to take part in our Environmental Education Training through the WESSA Rhino Initiative/SustainEd (accredited training unit for WESSA).