17 October 2017
Preserving Our Future

We would like to express our sincerest thanks to Howard Aron, one of Tanda Tula’s repeat guests, who sponsored the notching and DNA sampling of two white rhinos in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. Howard is passionate about wildlife, and his contribution towards the Timbavati's rhino program is extremely valued. As a company that is dedicated to the survival of our wildlife, and in particular these endangered animals, we would like to explain why these procedures take place, but also to use this blog as a platform to express our gratitude.

The operation is a highly skilled and organized one, with only the most qualified vets, helicopter pilots and field rangers overseeing the procedure. Once an un-notched rhino is located, the vet will dart the animal from a helicopter, keeping an eye on it until it goes to sleep. When the rhino is safely down, the team moves in quickly, as there is only a short window period available to perform the basic procedures.

The rhino is given oxygen and maneuvered to ensure that it has not gone to sleep on its side. The team then focuses on DNA sampling. The DNA sampling is necessary because sadly, we continue to lose rhinos to wildlife crime syndicates in South Africa. The DNA samples collected have allowed us to set up a national database from which forensic experts can link anyone found with rhino horn in their possession to a particular crime scene. This is all part of the chain of evidence which is used to convict criminals who are charged with crimes related to rhino poaching.

After this, ear notching takes place. The main reason for this is in order for rangers in the field to easily recognize individual rhinos and to establish movement patterns which help in the allocation of security resources. It also helps identify any un-notched individuals for scheduling and allocating DNA sampling exercises.

The work that this skilled team performs is so vital for the survival of the rhinos. The contributions from individuals, such as Howard, is undoubtedly one of the greatest gifts. Thank you to everyone who made this incredible experience a reality.

 

 

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