World’s first baby rhino orphanage established in South Africa

The first specialist, non-commercial centre for baby rhino orphaned and injured by rhino poaching, will be established at the Wildlife & Cultural Centre at the Legend Golf & Safari Resort in the Waterberg region of South Africa.

A R4-million (approx $500,000) campaign was launched in March to fund the project, which has already gained support from a number of key organisations involved in the war to save the African rhino. The centre will not be open to the public and will be protected by state-of-the-art security.

“The orphanage will have all the specialist medical facilities to care for these often extremely young and badly injured creatures, from an intensive care unit to, we hope, a special ambulance to transport them under proper medical supervision.  Security will be extreme. It is vital we give them the very best chance of one day returning to the wild where they belong, so they will only be cared for by the medical and rehabilitation staff and the public will only be allowed to view them via CCTV,” said Arrie van Deventer, who runs the Wildlife & Cultural Centre.

Van Deventer’s Wildlife Centre is already home many endangered species being rehabilitated. He has spent the past eight years building the centre as a conservation haven and believes the orphanage will offer a significant contribution to rhino conservation.

“If this world is serious about doing something to help protect and care for orphaned baby rhinos so our grandchildren can still see rhino in the wild, then we will do all we can to raise the funds and beg, steal or borrow the equipment and building materials,” said Van Deventer.

To help, or for more information, please contact pete@theazaleagroup.com or you can make a donation direct to The Rhino Orphanage.

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Kate Bergh is co-founder of Cedarberg African Travel, a specialist tour operator for Southern and East Africa.

She heads up the South African office, having lived in South Africa since 1993. Her home looks up to the Cedarberg Mountains, where she enjoys hiking and cycling, when she’s not out discovering new places to visit, with her three children in tow. Kate has travelled extensively throughout the region to Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe as well as most areas of South Africa. She also loves history, meeting people and a good thriller...

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