When you have one of the largest expanses of wilderness left on planet earth, it is of course a major undertaking to conserve it. There are plenty of challenges and there are many negative stories because just like anywhere else on earth, there is pressure from too many people.
But sometimes though, there is a glimmer of hope. Sometimes things are seemingly extremely positive, and this is one such story!
Image 1: A black rhino meets some wild dogs – two very rare species in one shot!
Image 2: The hooked lip of a black rhino
Botswana’s rhinos have gone extinct in the wild. In fact, they have gone extinct in the wild twice! Apart from the odd legendary animal that may have just survived against all odds, the population has been recognized as going extinct on two occasions. Now though, things are different. After a successful reintroduction more than a decade back, slowly but surely, a new population started to develop. In the last 5 years there has been a huge effort from many stakeholders; from the President to the private sector and many others, who have taken on the fight against poaching to help and save Africa’s rhinos during the latest scourge to run rife across the continent.
Images 3 & 4: Great army presence
With such efforts taking place, we have seen some amazing successes while on the other hand Botswana’s neighbours, South Africa, have been feeling the full brunt of the ‘rhino war’.
The most exciting thing though has not only been the government and private sector partnership that has made this project a huge success so far, but in amongst this all, an NGO called Rhino Conservation Botswana was emerged. At first it was a small NGO but its successes have quickly allowed it to grow. A growing NGO means it is receiving more money and it thus allowing it to operate at higher levels.
Images 5 & 6: At the bomas and the new aircraft!
Today we see an NGO with some incredible equipment – aeroplanes, boats and much more! Close collaboration with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Botswana Defence Force and others means the war on poaching is being taking seriously. But not only that. It has been great to see the skilled personnel being added to the team. The effort out there is getting bigger and bigger and not only are rhinos winning but so is the other wildlife. Eyes and ears out there and a greater presence is seeing a lot more positive happen in a world where we need as much help as we can get, to fight for the survival of these last true wild areas! We will look at some of these success stories in time to come but for now it is great to see some positive in a world where it so often seems to be a losing battle!
If you feel inspired to…please donate! Otherwise why not have a look at the website and spread the word! https://www.rhinoconservationbotswana.com