In a project described as hope for the rhinos in Southern Africa, leading conservation and tourism companies are on a mission to rescue rhino through the Rhinos without Borders project.

High poaching pressure.

High levels of poaching pressure on the national herd in South Africa, is decimating the endangered Animals. The project which is fundraising through the Great Plains Foundation is addressing the urgency of relocating rhinos to areas in Botswana where, though poaching does occur, it is not as rampant as in neighboring South Africa because Botswana has a zero tolerance policy regarding poaching. Botswana also has the lowest levels of poaching in Africa.

Dire situation.

The situation in South Africa is dire indeed. There is often a feeling of hopeless frustration expressed by animal lovers as the daily carnage of rhinos fills the television screens and social media pages. Taking a proactive approach, AndBeyond, and Great Plains Conservation teamed up to do something positive about rhino rescue. According to their website, they are “hoping to translocate 100 rhinos to safe havens in Botswana.” The urgency is motivated by the horrendous fact that a rhino dies every seven hours! The unsustainable losses will lead to extinction, no matter how much hand-wringing goes on; and despite the millions of dollars that are poured into South African anti-poaching operations. It does not take a genius to figure out the long-term losers in this numbers game. 

Some rhinos already in safer havens.

It costs a huge amount of money to relocate even one rhino.

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Generous donations have already seen some rhinos moved to safer havens, but the project is still fundraising for further relocations. 100 rhinos take a lot of moving. The logistics alone are almost mind-boggling. It’s not that simple to go out and catch a rhino. Once you have the rhino, there is more to moving it than loading it on a truck and driving off across the international border.

How much moolah makes 100 rhinos ride to safety?

One hundred rhinos need veterinarians, meetings and government consents, quarantine care, tracking devices implanted in their horns so they can be watched over, and of course, tracking monitors. On top of this, there are armed security rhino warriors on the costing spreadsheets, as well as crates to put the rhinos in. Media awareness is an important factor than that needs to be paid for. Then the rhinos need to be moved to the airport, loaded onto a plane and later transported to a release site, where the animals need to be monitored. The charter plane to get them there has to be hired too. 

Don’t forget that the operation to catch the rhinos in the first place is going to run into a pile of money.

 It costs a whopping $45 000 to move just one rhino. It is particularly expensive because they fly them out to reduce the amount of time they have to travel thus lowering their stress levels. Spread that out to cover the vision of 100 rhinos and this means that cash needed to fund the entire operation is over four million dollars.  

Follow the Rhinos by GoPro.

GoPro teamed up with the project and this has brought the supporters and donors closer to this rhino rescue operation. So often, caring donors cannot actively interact with the projects they support. They want to see those rescued lions in real-time video enjoying the African sun. They want to see the rhinos they are helping to save wallowing in the pan. Great Plains explain on their Facebook page that “with the GoPro technology” there is now a “virtual reality experience” available for rhino lovers. People can watch from their homes as the great rhino rescue continues.