The management and staff at the Fundimvelo Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage in Kwa-Zulu Natal have suffered through a great trauma earlier this week as volunteers were brutally assaulted and two rhinos were killed in a horrific poaching incident.
This gruesome incident took place during the early hours of Tuesday 21th February 2017.
A heavily armed poaching syndicate entered the private reserve, assaulting and taking hostage the volunteer rhino caregivers, on the Rhino Orphanage property.
The harrowing experience continued as the caregivers discovered two of the older rhino calves, Impi and Gugu, who were both killed and their horns removed. One of the rhinos had to be euthanized the following morning because of the severity of her injuries, whilst the other was killed during the attack.
The traumatised rhino caregiver volunteers are receiving ongoing medical and counselling, care and attention. We wish to express our gratitude to the medical staff and Dr Van Der Walt, the SAPS teams and the various security organisations and most importantly our full staff compliment who have supported us since Monday, “ – says the owner and Director of Thula Thula Exclusive Private Game Reserve and Safari Lodge , Francoise Malby-Anthony.
Thula Thula management is committed to ensure maximum protection of the orphanage with additional security and increased anti poaching unit put in place for the safeguard of the orphans and the volunteers.
It is sad to live in a world where some people have no respect for humans and animals. Gentle and dedicated animal lovers who just want to care for innocent and already traumatised orphans. They all need the best protection, and we shall make the orphanage the safest place so that this kind of barbaric attack never happens again.
The Fundimvelo Thula Thula Rhino orphanage was created in 2014 thanks to the partnership with International Austria based animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS and the Fundimvelo Community Trust and offers refuge to baby rhinos who have lost their mothers to poachers. The first baby rhino arrived in April 2015, cared for at the orphanage for 18 months, and has now been released successfully in the game reserve where he was born in northern Kwazulu Natal. The orphanage is managed with high ethical standards and is a restricted area, not open to the public.
I have launched a Just Giving fundraising campaign to raise EMERGENCY funding for extra security and increased anti poaching unit at the orphanage.
Please go to EMERGENCY FUND FOR RHINO ORPHANAGE for full details.
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And remember – #ThereIsNoExcuseForAnimalAbuse – EVER!!