A Pictorial Tribute To Wildlife Street Artist Roa

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF STREET ARTIST ROA

Roa, a hugely talented Belgian street artist from Ghent, is renowned for his giant black and white animal street art. Roa started off in the street art scene painting animals on abandoned buildings and warehouses in the isolated industrial areas of his hometown. Today, Roa’s animals may be found slumbering on the sides of semi derelict buildings and peering out from shop shutters in city streets all across the world from New York to Berlin and Warsaw to Paris.

Stockholm, Sweden.
ANONYMITY
Roa Lets His Work Do The talking

Street artist Roa is a muralist from Ghent, Belgium sprays beautiful illustrations of animals on buildings, walls and anything he can find in cities around the World. His work has often been recorded and photographed, but very little is known about the artist and even less is documented.

Renowned for his monumental black and white paintings of wildlife, ROA is a pseudonym of a Belgian street artist that has been leaving both accidental and intentional viewers in awe for years now. His hand painted, large scale and unique portrayals of rabbits, birds, rats, fish and other animals disquietly cohabit city streets, whilst his more disturbing images of skeletal or dead creatures directly reflect ROA’s pessimistic opinions of society. Although this street artist’s work is definitely a contender when discussing the most famous and recorded urban pieces in recent history, not much is known about this mysterious painter from Ghent who uses this anonymity to make sure both his artwork and spirit remain uncompromised.

At a very young age Roa remembers wanting to be an archaeologist or something adventurous and collecting little skulls from birds and rodents to draw at home. He grew up in the eighties and naturally was inspired by the American life; music, skating and so forth. The love for music, more in particular hip-hop, quickly joined his curiosity in graffiti. Like most muralists, he began by spraying throw-ups under bridges and walls. During his early years, Roa expressed an active, eclectic mix of styles. At the time, there was not prevailing movement in Belgium. As time went on, the scene’s evolution further evolved as foreign visitors left behind an assorted collection of talents and skills. Slowly but sure Roa became addicted to the nature of urban art.

Roa is primarily known for his strong obsession for animals and rodents. He often combines life, death, and life after death in his murals, which quickly distinguishes him amongst traditional muralists. His animals are painted to include skeleton and internal organs, making the sight even more realistic. The artist states, “Organs are the vital substances of our body and they represent a lot of the symbolism which I like!” One’s love for animals could not be expressed nearly as much as our artist Roa. This mysterious Belgian muralist has created hundreds of murals through Europe. He has also travelled to other locations around the world.

His preferred forms of methods to paint are by using spray paint or acrylic paint. In fact, most of his work is created through a mixture of black, white, and grey scale colours. At times, the muralist prefers to sketch, especially those large murals. He first began his artistic career by paining buildings and warehouses in his hometown. Nowadays, his distinctive black and white style street artwork can be found worldwide.


Some major cities, where his work can be found include London, New York, Berlin, Warsaw, Madrid, Moscow, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Paris.

Muralist Roa’s true obsession for animals is unparalleled and he uses this obsession to paint for inspiration. Roa uses native animals based on the location he is painting in. For example, if he goes to a specific location filled with roosters, like Mexico, then he will paint a rooster. Not only does this make him a standout artist, but his attention to detail is phenomenal. He truly has a pure passion for painting. Roa simply paints to paint- no other reason.

Carefully using the placement and the enlarging of the graffiti subject, ROA implies the cruelty and absurd relationship of humans and animals, as well as displaying the roots and origins of the depicted beings – this is what’s his art all about.

Roa’s work has been turning heads across the street art community by bringing birds, rodents, and other animals back into the consciousness in the areas they once inhabited. Although the street art is generally conveyed in a very natural matter, even his dead animal paintings seem at peace. Not only that, but his extra-large scale black and while local rodents may be viewing the image at work from nearby.

Roa’s anonymity has kept his work and his spirit free.

Enjoy Some Of Roa’s Art From Around The World

ROA BERLIN GERMANY
BERLIN, GERMANY
ROA MAKASUTA THE GAMBIA 1
MAKASUTA, THE GAMBIA
ROA JOHANNESBURG SA
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFROCA
ROA BROOKLYN USA
BROOKLYN, USA
ROA BARCELONA SPIAN
BARCELONA, SPAIN
ROA WERCHTER BELGIUM
WERCHTER, BELGIUM
ROA GAMBIA
MAKASUTU, THE GAMBIA
Lenticular Street Art
LONDON, UK
roa-in-gambia1
MAKASUTU, THE GAMBIA
roa_warsaw_7_u_1000
WARSAW, RUSSIA
ROA OREBRO SWEDEN
OREBRO, SWEDEN
ROA MONTREAL
MONTREAL, CANADA

These are just SOME of the vast amount of murals that Roa has created. You can visit his Facebook page at Roa Street Artist.

Please let others see Roa’s amazing work by SHARING far and wide. Please SUBSCRIBE to receive regular new and updates straight to your inbox.

An Elephant Caught In A Snare Trap Had No Idea Who Was Coming To Help Him

AN ELEPHANT CAUGHT IN A SNARE

An Elephant was found in Liwonde National Park, he was completely debilitated and had a wire snare trap digging into the flesh of his leg near his foot. The poor animal could not move, feed or even get water to alleviate his condition.

  1. The Helpless Victim
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It is said that hunters set snare traps to kill smaller wild animals and not Elephants. Unfortunately though, a helpless Elephant fell victim to it. This gained varied reactions in the social media where one Facebook user said, “Humans the only species to demonstrate such ‘inhumanity’, we should be ashamed.

  1. Veterinary Help
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Veterinarian Amanda Salb of Lilongwe Wildlife Trust and Derek Macpherson of Cluny Wildlife Trust teamed up with the Rhino Protection Team and African Parks scouts to tranquilize the suffering animal and remove the gory snare.

This picture shows them inserting the needle, on which the IV lines are connected, into the Elephant’s ear on which arteries are accessible, and usually an endotracheal tube is inserted down the animal’s throat. The IV will allow the veterinarians to monitor blood-oxygen levels, while the tube ensures that the animal can continue breathing under anesthesia.

  1. Injecting The Tranquilizer
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Here we see Dr. Salb injecting the tranquilizer fluid into the iv line. They probably had to more or less guess the weight of this particular young Elephant in order to administer the correct dose. The others help to pull the uninjured leg up so that they are able to get to the injured one with the snare attached, that has dug very deeply into his flesh.

This adolescent must have really struggled and struggled to free himself, probably very confused and not sure what was holding him back. What an awful death he would have suffered. When the woozy pachyderm finally succumbs, not that he had any resistance left, they get to work on his wound.

  1. Snare Trap Removed
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Dr. Salb gets to work on removing the horrible wire snare. Derek MacPherson looks on resting his hand on the poor suffering Elephants trunk in a comforting gesture. Another helper looks on with some water with disinfectant, to clear the wound of debris etc., so that the snare can be seen properly to be able to remove it. The vet has to use really strong sharp side cutters and strength to unwind the strong wire that the poachers use.

  1. Taking Off The Snare
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And this is the offending bloody snare tightly wrapped around the young Elephant’s leg with a piece of flesh still embedded into it.

“It’s always devastating to see the dreadful damage these snares can do to such a big animal,” the Lilongwe Wildlife Center wrote on its Facebook page. Snares can cull animal populations at an alarming rate. Hunters/poachers set snare traps with aims to kill smaller wild animals than Elephants, which can decimate animal populations at an unsustainable rate, according to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT). Just 1,000 of these snares can capture 18,250 animals in a year — even Elephants, whose population is already plummeting because of the ivory trade.

  1. The Infected Wound
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To make things even more sad, the young Elephant’s wound appears to be infected. Here you can see that the wound is being cleaned out the blood and puss from the deeply cut leg of the Elephant which appears to be almost cut to the bone. Needless to say, this poor Elephant must have been in a lot of pain. Luckily while they work, he is safely in dreamland and not feeling the excruciating pain for the moment.

  1. All Cleaned
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In this picture you can see that the Elephant’s wound has been washed clean and is ready for some topical treatment. It is also noticeable that the animal has lost a lot of weight and looks very weak. And from the position of the person’s hand you can see the depth that the snare cut into the leg.

The whole procedure went extremely well Dr. Salb said “Although the wound was really deep, we’re all so pleased that we were able to remove the snare entirely and give him the required treatment.”

  1. The Young Elephant Still Sleeping
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At this point, the whole procedure has been completed with topical ointments applied and antibiotics administered. Looking at the photo, a game park ranger watches over the young Elephant. The African Park scouts and the Rhino Protection Team also helped in monitoring the condition of the animal.

  1. Double Checking
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Here veterinarian Amanda Salb seems to be double checking on the Elephant. Probably taking some measurements and statistics for their records. Wildlife vet, Amanda Salb, is the heroine along with her team, in this important role of saving wildlife discovered alive in national parks.

Many similar incidents occur on a regular basis in this huge park and it is also because of its vastness that the difficulty of monitoring arises. Nevertheless, the world isn’t lacking with people who show immense compassion to animals.

  1. Radio Collar
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A radio collar is fitted to the injured Elephant. The Elephant gets a radio collar so he can be found again for follow-up treatment. The Elephant will continue to be monitored by African Parks scouts and the Rhino Protection Team, and if he needs any further treatment, Wildlife vet, Amanda Salb and her team will be on call.

  1. Getting Better
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Lilongwe Wildlife Trust reported that despite his gory injury, the pain seemed to have subsided quickly because, two days after the rescue, the Elephant was spotted at the watering hole with his herd. “He was bathing normally and seemed bright,” Salb said.

This Elephant is one of the lucky few that got found in time and treated, and that the treatment was adequate and the little fellow was strong. As Elephants have long memories I am sure he will not forget his horrific ordeal in a hurry. Let us hope the same thing does not occur again. People voiced their reactions online to this particular Elephant’s brush with a snare trap. “Humans the only species to demonstrate such ‘inhumanity’, we should be ashamed.”

  1. Operation Safe Haven
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Nearly 50% of animals living in the park had been slaughtered before ‘Operation Safe Haven’ moved in in November 2014. They detected and removed 10,000 deadly poachers’ traps that covered the park, and arrested over 70 criminal poachers and 6 wildlife traffickers, securing hefty fines or prison sentences against the majority.

At the end of Operation Safe Haven the security of the national park was handed over to a team of long-term managers, African Parks. The future of the Elephants and Rhinos here is now assured and the breakthrough formula should be applied to other national parks. At least our young Elephant is a bit safer in his habitat now.

  1. The Snares
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This photo alone tells just how rampant poaching is. The snares all look terrifying considering that they are used as instrument to trap and slowly kill their poor victims.

  1. The Hunt For Ivory
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Here for interest sake is a haul of poached ivory confiscated from people, that set traps, shoot and kill Elephants for their tusks. These were bound for Asia. We are thankful that there are still people around that care for the endangered species of animals in Africa, especially Elephant and Rhino.

  1. Sunset Over Liwonde Game Reserve
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Here is a beautiful picture of a sunset over the watering hole at the Liwonde Game Reserve in Malawi, where the young Elephant was found. Hopefully he is completely recovered and enjoying the peaceful surroundings.

Please SHARE to raise awareness about this issue. You can also sign up for UPDATES & NEWS by submitting your email details in the right-hand column. But most of all NEVER give up fighting for the future of wildlife! Thank you.

Incredible Video Shows The Moment An Elephant Rushes To Rescue ‘Drowning’ Keeper After Pair Formed An ‘Inseparable Bond’

KHAM LA AND HER CARER DARRICK THOMSON

This incredible video shows the moment an Elephant rushed to save her keeper who she thought was drowning.

This baby Elephant thought the man who looked after her was drowning and rushes to save him ❤️ . The Save Elephant Foundation in Chiang Mai, Thailand, captured little Kham La racing to the ‘aid’ of Darrick Thomson, the co-founder of the foundation and one of her favorite people ever.

Darrick was calling out to her on the shore, and she interpreted his calls as distress cries (he was totally fine, though). Kham La charged through the water, sheltering him with her body and offering her trunk for him to hold on to.

The video shows him swimming, and splashing about in the water.

Faithful Kham La seems to think he might be in trouble and races into the water to rescue him.

Darrick trainer at Elephant Nature Park

As soon as Kham La thinks her trainer is in peril she dashes into the water

The 42-year-old said: “Kham La was in a really bad way when she came to us.

The beautiful moment Kham Lha wades in to rescue the trainer Darrick

The beautiful moment Kham La reaches Darrick to check he is OK

“She had been tied up and forced to undergo cruel training known as crushing to prepare her to work in the tourist industry.

Please SHARE this article to raise awareness about this issue and feel free to leave a comment below. You can also sign up for UPDATES & NEW ARTICLES by submitting your email details in the right-hand column. But most of all NEVER give up fighting for the future of wildlife! Thank You.

The Awful Night Poachers Broke Into An African Wildlife Orphanage And Pumped Bullets Into Two Baby Rhinos To Hack Off Their Tiny Horns

In Memory of Impi and Gugu who were killed in the raid.

Françoise Malby-Anthony, who founded the Thula Thula game reserve in 1998 with her late husband, the renowned conservationist and internationally bestselling author Lawrence Anthony recalls the awful night that poachers attacked her Rhino orphanage on the 27th of February 2017

THE NIGHT POACHERS ATTACKED A RHINO ORPHANAGE

“Living alone on a vast African game reserve is not for the faint-hearted. And that night, even after 17 years in the wilderness, I felt a strange sense of unease.

It was 2am . White flashes of lightning were lighting up my bedroom. Thunder cracked like gunshots. As I stroked my dog, Gypsy, trying to reassure her, I suddenly realised that the phone was ringing.

‘Hello?’ I mumbled.

‘The orphanage has been hit. They shot two rhinos and attacked the volunteers.’

I sat bolt upright. Hit? Shot? Attacked? I couldn’t process the words.

I’d created the animal orphanage just a year before in order to fill a desperate need. Increasingly, poachers had been targeting adult rhinos for their horns — to sell to the Far East for useless traditional potions.

Any defenceless babies, whose horns had yet to grow, were left to die in the bush. Or if they were found in time, they were brought to my orphanage.

On that very night, I knew that four animal-mad girl volunteers and a permanent carer were providing intensive nursing for six vulnerable baby rhinos and a young hippo.

IMPI WITH ONE OF HIS CARERS

Panic-stricken, I ran to my general manager’s cottage and banged on the door.

‘Lynda! It’s me! Open up!’ I yelled, shivering in the rain. ‘Poachers at the orphanage. I’ll never manage the roads in this weather. We need your 4×4.’

She saw the horror on my face and asked no questions. ‘Give me five minutes.’ The rain smacked our faces as we sprinted to her car.

We crept along the dirt track leading to the orphanage, struggling to see, not speaking, hearts hammering. What would we find?

The men who slash rhinos’ faces for their horns are utterly barbaric — far beyond the conception of my trusting young volunteers. One wrong move or word, and an agitated lunatic could well have killed the girls.

Slowly, painfully slowly, we struggled through the downpour. As we arrived at the orphanage, one of my anti-poaching guards ran out.

‘What were you thinking, driving here on your own?’ he burst out. ‘The attackers could still be in the reserve! Quick. Get under cover.’

I stared at him. ‘Is anyone hurt?’ I asked. He nodded, grim-faced, and took us inside . . .

Baby rhinos don’t run. They half-bounce, half-fly as they hurtle towards you with an inquisitive look on their soft faces.

Or so I discovered when I first met Thabo, who’d been a terrified newborn when he was found, his umbilical cord still dragging below him in the dust. His mother had almost certainly been killed by poachers, and it was a miracle he’d survived even a day on his own.

Now Thabo was two months old, and had just arrived from a reserve that could no longer keep him. He nestled his snout gently against my leg — and I melted.

THABO

I’d just agreed to give him a permanent home on the land that my husband and I had bought in South Africa, intending to turn it into a game reserve that would keep animals safe from poachers.

We called it Thula Thula — Zulu for ‘quiet’. Within a few years, we’d built a game lodge, started taking in paying guests and had adopted an entire herd of wild elephants — though no rhinos.

But that was about to change: as I stroked Thabo, I knew with absolute certainty what needed to happen next. I was going to create a haven where orphaned rhinos could heal after their trauma.

That was back in 2011. By the time I’d raised enough funds and rhino-proofed an existing building, my husband Lawrence had died tragically young of a heart attack.

For a long time after I lost him, I lurched from one crisis to the next, never feeling anything was under control. Even small decisions felt overwhelming at first, but creating the orphanage gave me a focus, a reason to get up every day.

LAWRENCE ANTHONY

There was so much at stake. If the heating fails in our game lodge, we might get a bad rating on TripAdvisor, but the guests won’t die. A heating failure in the orphanage’s high-care ward, on the other hand, will soon kill a baby rhino.

Our first call came in April 2015. An anti-poaching unit had just found the carcass of an adult female rhino, with her horn hacked off, but no sign of her calf. Would we take it in if they could track it down? By running away, the six-month old calf had at least avoided being butchered for the tiny horn beginning to grow on his head. With rhino horn fetching £68,000 per kilo on the Far Eastern market, the poachers would have killed him for every gram they could get.

By the time Ithuba was traced, it was a week since his mother had died. Heavily sedated when he arrived, he was covered in infected tick bites and close to death. That first night, he was put on a drip and slept peacefully — but the second night was hell.

It was as if he was going through all the trauma of the past week — his mother’s murder, being transported in a clanging trailer and then finding himself in a strange room with two-legged animals who looked just like the ones who’d killed his mother.

The mere sight of his carers sent him careering around his room in panic — and 200 kilos of agitated rhino can do a lot of damage to a pair of human legs. His high-pitched squeals of terror pierced every corner of the orphanage.

Eventually, we persuaded him to drink milk from a bottle. Then colic struck and nightmares. He’d shiver and jerk about in his sleep; on waking, he’d spin around his room in panic, flinging himself against the walls.

‘What Ithuba’s going through isn’t unusual,’ the vet assured us. ‘People think post-traumatic stress is only experienced by humans, but his emotional recovery is going to be far more complicated than his physical recovery.’

It’s heartbreakingly hard to comfort traumatised animals, but our carers did it with infinite patience and affection. Slowly, Ithuba began to understand they weren’t like the people who’d hurt his mother.

I’ll never forget the day when I saw him trotting happily next to Axel, an easygoing young French carer. Ithuba kept bumping into his leg, as if to reassure himself that he wasn’t alone any more.

Another huge step was the revival of his curiosity. Rejecting other toys, Ithuba homed in on anything made out of tyre, including his food bowl which was a home-made tyre contraption. He’d tip it over, throw out the food, fling the bowl about until it started rolling, then run after it. Finally, he’d balance it on his head, preening and strutting like a dressage horse.

BFFs: The two baby rhinos, Thabo and Ntombi, were soon inseparable

Yet for a long time, he also continued to have panic attacks. He’d be playing happily, then he’d suddenly squeal in fright, latch onto a corner of his carer’s sleeve and suckle it — rather like a baby sucks its thumb.

Slowly, however, his insecurity faded — and his appetite exploded. By the time he was nine months old, he’d doubled his weight and turned into a happy little rhino tank who’d soon be starting a new life in the wild.

The next rhino calf delivered to the orphanage had also lost his mother to poachers. He’d stood by his mother’s body for six days, desperately tugging at her decaying teats while vultures tore her flesh. How do you even start to console a little creature who’s been through that?

Megan, a fresh-faced young British girl, remained with Impi for his entire first night as he ran round and round in circles, crying non-stop, too terrified to sleep, desperate to find his mother.

‘I kept talking to him,’ she said. ‘I told him what had happened to him, that he was safe with us, that there was another baby rhino just like him called Ithuba, and that I was sure they would be friends.

‘He eventually came up to stand silently at my knees. He looked so lost. I longed to take him in my arms to comfort him but I didn’t dare move in case I frightened him. Then he collapsed at my feet and fell asleep.’

Within three days, however, little Impi was on the mend. Ravenously hungry, he’d indignantly head-butt his carers if his bottle wasn’t ready when he wanted it.

One morning, Megan was on her hands and knees giving the floor a good scrub when she felt two little eyes boring into her. Impi edged closer and nestled his chin on her shoulder. And there it stayed, as he shuffled along to keep pace with Megan’s movements.

Some calves are boisterous and belligerent, but not Impi. He was a tender little creature who was afraid of everything and hated being left alone.

Like Ithuba, he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, and unfamiliar sounds — even a bird’s squawk — would send him fleeing, squealing in panic.

Nights were a terrible struggle. No matter how exhausted he was, he didn’t feel safe enough to lie down until a volunteer had started reading him a book. Then he’d quietly nestle on the hay next to her, burrow his head into her legs and fall into the deepest sleep.

Ithuba, meanwhile, wasn’t happy about losing his pampered role as the only rhino at the orphanage — and particularly jealous when he realised that Impi was in his old room. Again and again, he charged the barrier to get in; only the sound of Axel rolling a tyre behind him managed to distract the cross little rhino.

The next orphan to arrive was Thando, who’d been discovered neck-deep in mud and unable to move. There was no sign of his mother.

It took five men to pull Thando out of the mud, and there were whoops of delight when they saw he was strong enough to stand.

The DIFFERENCE in Thando’s behaviour from that of the other two rhinos was startling. Rather than being petrified when he woke up in a strange room surrounded by humans, he was merely stroppy.

Happily, he hadn’t had to witness his mother being hacked to death, nor had he been on his own in the wilderness for nights on end. As a result, he very quickly became one of the orphanage’s most laid-back little rhinos.

Eventually we decided that Impi and Thando should meet, as they were similar ages. So, one overcast summer’s afternoon, we left the doors and barriers to their rooms open at feeding time. The carers hovered out of sight nearby.

Impi, usually such a timid little rhino, immediately charged at Thando, who didn’t so much as blink. Baffled by this non-reaction, Impi skidded to a halt and stared at him.

After a lot of posturing and strutting on both sides, they headed inside and flopped down on a mattress, their stumpy little legs entwined. From then on, they were best friends, constantly cuddling up or practising charging techniques on each other.

Another successful pairing was between Charlie, a baby hippo found alone in a river, terrified of water, and a newborn rhino called Makhosi, abandoned because he was too tiny to reach his mother’s teats. As both were under a week old, we put them in the same room.

Amazingly, Makhosi scampered straight up to the hippo. For his part, Charlie swayed his big head from side to side in greeting and reached his snout towards her.

First, they exchanged interested noisy snuffles. Then Makhosi lowered her head and Charlie gently chomped her ears. Finally, the tiny rhino clambered onto the hippo’s mattress, nuzzled up against him and fell fast asleep.

WILD ENCOUNTERS

After that, they trotted everywhere together, demanded to be fed at the same time, and cuddled up whenever they needed warmth or reassurance.

When Charlie’s teeth started to cut through, his gums became sore and inflamed, and he lost his appetite. His rhino friend knew just what to do: she comforted him with gentle nudges, then fell asleep each night with her snout touching his.

Charlie, the baby hippo who was scared of water standing bravely in his paddling pool with pal Makhosi close by

More orphans were now flooding in. Nandi, our first black rhino, was another newborn whose mother had been killed. She was afraid of the dark and wouldn’t go to sleep without a blanket tucked tightly around her.

If it slid off, she squealed until her carer woke up and tucked her back in again. What a little princess!

Then there was Storm, who’d probably been rejected by his mother. He had so many parasites that we almost lost him.

And finally there was Gugu, a healthy rhino calf who wanted nothing to do with her carers. It was her choice to drink from a bucket rather than a bottle — anything to keep humans at bay.

When she first saw Impi and Thando, however, she broke out into high-pitched calls of delight. And as for Ithuba, our original rhino calf, he became the love of her life.

Poor Ithuba was so much older than the others that we had to keep him in a separate enclosure. Undeterred, Gugu would spend hours walking out with her strapping neighbour, each keeping pace with the other on either side of the fence.

ITHUBA WITH KAREN TRENDLER

By the start of 2016, our baby rhinos were all thriving and protected by round-the-clock security guards. It made no difference.

On the terrible rain-lashed night that poachers attacked the animal orphanage, I arrived to find our terrified girl volunteers huddled together in an office. One of them had only been with us for a few hours, her dream of working with orphaned animals now a savage nightmare.

Slowly, as they sobbed and cried, I started piecing together what had happened.

Just as the team had finished the first evening feed, five heavily armed men had breached the fence, disabling cameras and cutting cables as they crept towards our security guard. Two of them had attacked him from behind and tied him up.

THE DODO’S HEADLINE OF THE ATTACK

Then they waited, patient predators, biding their time until the next feed. Axel, the only staff member there that night, had gone to bed while the two girls on feeding duty chatted and laughed as they prepared bottles for the hippo and the rhino calves.

Suddenly, they were ambushed by the poachers, and shoved into a locked office. At gunpoint, Axel was roused and forced to round up the rest of the volunteers.

‘Where are the rhino horns?’ the attackers kept asking. Needless to say, we didn’t have any, but Axel was beaten and one of the girls was severely assaulted.

THE HUFFPOST’S HEADLINE OF THE ATTACK

The poachers must have known that Gugu and Impi — now our oldest rhinos at the orphanage — were due to leave soon. And that meant they’d already have stubby little horns.

While three men guarded the youngsters, two others, armed with guns and an axe, headed for the calves. They pumped bullets into Gugu and Impi for horns no bigger than a child’s fist.

RIP GUGU

Gugu died instantly, sweet Impi didn’t. The poachers didn’t give a damn. They held him down and hacked his face with the axe.

Were they disconcerted by his terrified expression? Superstitions run deep in rural Zululand, where it’s thought that eyes have memories. So the poachers did the unthinkable — they poked out Impi’s eyes.

Half an hour later, the men and their bounty were gone.

Meanwhile, the guard in the storeroom had escaped and was running barefoot through the reserve to raise the alarm. Petrified of being caught, he avoided roads and tore through the bush in the pitch dark, shredding his feet in the process.

To this day, I can’t bear to think about Impi and the anguish of his carers. They’d hand-raised him, and there was nothing they could do to ease his terror and pain.

Impi was euthanised as soon as our vet arrived. The tragedy was that both calves had been days away from becoming wild rhinos again.

The next 24 hours are a blur. I have flashes of memory: the ashen faces of the girls, the explosive racket of the storm, the atrocity of Impi’s injuries, the chaos in my heart.

For a while, I lost faith in mankind. I lost hope in saving rhinos.

Demand for their horns will never stop; they’ll always be in danger, as will the men and women who risk their lives guarding them.

What I do remember with profound gratitude is the phone call from Megan, the British girl who’d helped look after Impi and Gugu. Now back home, she offered to start a campaign to pay for improving the orphanage’s security.

Donations flooded in from all over the world. The outpouring of love and concern was incredible: more than £45,000 was raised.

The cash has paid for more round-the-clock armed guards and extra protection for staff during night feeds. We’ve also upgraded our entire security system.

Additional anti poaching team and extra armed security

Update 2/23: Two male suspects have now been arrested for the killing of two baby rhinos and the assault of the staff at Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage, according to SA people. The men are apparently part of a “notorious gang,” and they were heavily armed when police found them.

This true account comes for Françoise’s beautiful book An Elephant In My Kitchen.

Françoise Malby-Anthony ~ An Elephant In MY kitchen

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A Poacher’s Attack Through The Eyes Of Rhino Calf Ntombi

As the number of rhinos killed by poachers keep rising and more traumatized orphaned calves are in need of care, Kirsten Everett, a volunteer at Nikela, takes us on a touching journey as she looks at the horrors of a poacher attack though the eyes of a young Rhino calf.

NTOMBI WITH VET KAREN TRENDLER

“My mother and I were contently filling our hungry stomachs when we heard a strange noise. I carried on eating but she smelt the air for unknown scents. I saw the terrified look in her eye before she managed to control it; the unnatural smell meant something. A few minutes later we heard the ‘whop, whop’ of a metal monster flying closer towards us. Just when my mother focussed on it the men crept out of the bushes with a crunch of sticks. Something seemed to hit her and she grunted in surprise. The birds abandoned their posts heading away from the danger. I stood helplessly as she tried to run but ended up falling to the ground. The men surrounded her and tried to chase me away. I ran forward scared enough to not care about the men as they had done something to my mother, I needed her and they must go away.

Out of nowhere one of the big men spun on me and hit me hard with something sharp. Blood oozed from my wound as my mother answered my cry for help with a weak beg, ‘Away, away’. I backed away nursing my wound, how could I get to her?? She grunted again so I didn’t give up. I ran forward again but this time the angry man was merciless, determined to get his message across. As quietly as possible I took the cuts to my poor head trying not to worry my mother even more.

Confused I backed away into the bushes calling to her to get up, but the eerie silence dragged on and she didn’t move a muscle. Fear glued me to the floor as I felt my young heart pulsing with anger and fear. A breeze blew, as I waited for the monsters to go so I could go to my poor mommy and find out what was wrong. My heart skipped a beat when I realised this was what my cousin had gone through only a full moon ago. It was terrible, my body couldn’t stop shaking and I couldn’t think clearly, I felt lightheaded from all my blood loss.

Finally when the monsters left I ran to her side, ‘Mom wake up.’ My voice cracked with emotion but still she didn’t respond. I took a step back and saw the pool of blood. Her horn had been brutally cut off and she lay lifeless. Above me a crow flew over.

I turned to run then I asked myself some important questions… where would I go? I wasn’t old enough to know the way to the dam yet. Who would protect me from predators? The truth was that I wasn’t strong enough to survive by myself yet. Would I be with my mother in the sky sooner than I thought? The last question scared me the most; out in the wild without my mother I might just be able to survive a week.

I heard the snap of a twig, I wasn’t alone. This time I didn’t have the strength to care what these humans wanted with me. I collapsed and slept for a few hours. I was almost completely unconscious though I sensed kindness near me. Too traumatised to do anything I lay as they treated my wounds. The people who tried to comfort me planted a seed of hope. Hope that I could survive and hope that the rest of the human race would come to its senses and help my species and all the others out there”.

Let’s stop the babies’ cries! Let’s save the last rhin0!

Written by Kirsten Everett. Based loosely on the story of “Ntombi” who was rescued by Karen Trendler and her team.

NTOMBI WITH ONE OF HER CARERS

Update (July 31, 2013): This is Ntombi feeling good and playful

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THE LIMBE WILDLIFE CENTRE URGENTLY NEEDS HELP TO SECURE THE FUTURE FOR CAMEROON’S WILDLIFE

SECURING A FUTURE FOR CAMEROON’S WILDLIFE

The Limbe Wildlife Centre (LWC) is a conservation education centre in Limbe, Cameroon. Above all, they provide a solution to law enforcement agencies for where to place wildlife seized from the illegal wildlife trade. For all elements of their work, they collaborate with state and national government, communities, and other international and local NGOs to protect habitats and endangered species. In brief, they  in-situ and ex-situ activities that include rescue, rehabilitation and reintroduction, conservation education and advocacy, law reinforcement, creating alternative livelihoods to hunting, and research. Through a holistic approach, the LWC aims to ensure the survival of Cameroon’s unique flora and fauna.

Ultimately, there are three main pillars to our work: rescue and rehabilitation, education and community.

The Limbe Wildlife Centre (LWC) is being hit hard by the current Covid-19 pandemic. With no volunteers or visitors coming to the centre, they have lost an important source of income, and much of their grant funding has been cut due to the global economic downturn. With travel and business restrictions happening across Cameroon, like in many other countries, they are struggling to obtain the food and medication needed every day for their rescued wildlife.

At this difficult time, they urgently need your helpThey are dependent on your kindness to continue providing daily essential care to the more than 450 animals currently in their care.

Protect All Wildlife are supporting LWC continue their amazing work by selling these unique Ltd Edition tops to raise funds.

Please help @LimbeWildlife rescue, rehabilitate & release primates & other animals orphaned by the illegal bush meat and pet trades. These beautiful Ltd Edition tops are available in a variety styles & colours at https://teezily.com/stores/limbe-wildlife-centre…. All profits help this wonderful charity.

HELP KANGAROO ISLAND WILDLIFE PARK TREAT ANIMALS INJURED IN THE AUSTRALIAN BUSHFIRES

Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park

The Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park has been overwhelmed by the kindness, good wishes and support from the Australian and international community for the wildlife icon, the Koala.

At least 25,000 Koalas are believed to have died in a horrific wildfire in South Australia that may have devastating consequences for the survival of the species.

Four dead Koalas lie on a vet’s table in Lismore

The fire on Kangaroo Island, which was considered a Koala safe-haven because its population had escaped a devastating chlamydia epidemic, was described as “virtually unstoppable” on Saturday by firefighters.

Koala rescuer Margaret Hearle stated that another important Koala population, nicknamed “the gene pool” because of its good health, had been “wiped out” in Crestwood, New South Wales.

Due to the recent tragic bushfires, the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park has received a lot of concerned phone calls and messages regarding the impacted wildlife from these fires.

Over the past few days they have started to see a large number of injured Koalas, along with other native species heavily impacted by this event. They have been treating these victims as best they can to supply pain relief, antibiotics, treatment to wounds and basic husbandry requirements. They spent most of January 3rd building extra holding enclosures as well as defending the park from the immediate threat of the fire and will continue to prepare more infrastructure to house the extra wildlife they expect to see over the coming weeks.

A KOALA RECOVERS AT THE KANGAROO ISLAND WILDLIFE PARK

They need much-needed funds to help with veterinary costs, Koala milk and supplements, extra holding/rehabilitation enclosures, as well as setting up a building to hold supplies to treat these animals.

Donations go directly towards the Koalas and other wildlife that they have coming in from the fires for their care, triage and ongoing treatments, housing, essential equipment, feed and more.

They are working around the clock with a highly experienced, qualified and dedicated team of volunteers including qualified vets, vet nurses and wildlife carers to rescue, rehabilitate and care for all of the animals coming in from the bushfires.

Sam Mitchell, owner of Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park

On admittance to the unit, all efforts are made to rehydrate, treat and assess the wildlife by their vet care team. Many are being treated for severe burns with most burns being to their hands, feet and rumps.

They are providing the best care possible for our injured wildlife and due to the significant habitat loss they will be building exhibits to hold the treated Koalas until arrangements can be made to release them back into the wild where possible.

SOME OF THE KOALAS WHO SURVIVED THE FIRES IN THE RECOVERY UNIT

Kangaroo Island is well known for its thriving Koala population however over 150,000 hectares has been lost due to recent events, this will effect our Koala population dramatically. We ALL need to pull together to save this Australian icon. Once conditions improve and they are granted access to fire ground, a qualified team will be going out to rescue wildlife caught in the fires and relocate those left without a food source or home.

PLEASE HELP RAISE MUCH-NEEDED FUNDS FOR THE KANGAROO ISLAND WILDLIFE PARK

To help raise funds for this vital project we are donating ALL proceeds from the sale of Badges, Brooches, Car Stickers, Tote Bags, Jewellery and Conservation Packs to help the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park treat animals affected by the #AustralianFires.

They are available from the Protect All Wildlife store at http://protect-all-wildlife.ecwid.com

KANGAROO ISLAND WILDLIFE PARK

Animal Advocacy, Animal Rescue, Animal Welfare, Environment, Wildlife Conservation/ Tags Australia, Bushfires, Dying Wildlife, Kangaroos, Koalas

The Amazing Story Of The Elephant Whisperer Lawrence Anthony.

When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of 7 ‘rogue’ and ‘trouble-making’ Elephants on his reserve at Thula Thula in 1999, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd’s last chance of survival – notorious escape artists, they would all be killed if Lawrence wouldn’t take them. He agreed, but before arrangements for the move could be completed the animals broke out again and the matriarchand her baby were shot. The remaining Elephants were traumatised and very angry. As soon as they arrived at Thula Thula they started planning their escape.

As Lawrence battled to create a bond with the Elephants and save them from execution, he came to realise that they had a lot to teach him about love, loyalty and freedom. Set against the background of life on the reserve, with unforgettable characters and exotic wildlife, he wrote The Elephant Whisperer, a book that appealed to animal lovers worldwide.The original herd of 7 Elephants has now increased to 29 Elephants, the maximum sustainable capacity of Thula Thula.

In March 2012, Lawrence Anthony passed away. His family spoke of a solemn procession of elephants that defies human explanation.

For 12 hours, two herds of wild South African elephants slowly made their way through the Zululand bush until they reached the house of Lawrence Anthony. The formerly violent, rogue elephants, destined to be shot a few years ago as pests, were rescued and rehabilitated by Lawrence.

They stood around the house in an apparent vigil for two days, and then dispersed.

“They had not visited the house for a year and a half and it must have taken them about 12 hours to make the journey,” Lawrence’s son Dylan said. “The first herd arrived on Sunday and the second herd, a day later. They all hung around for about two days before making their way back into the bush.”

But how did the elephants know Lawrence had died?

“A good man died suddenly,” says Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, Ph.D., “and from miles and miles away, two herds of elephants, sensing that they had lost a beloved human friend, moved in a solemn, almost ‘funereal’ procession to make a call on the bereaved family at the deceased man’s home.”

“If there ever were a time, when we can truly sense the wondrous interconnectedness of all beings, it is when we reflect on the elephants of Thula Thula. A man’s heart’s stops, and hundreds of elephants’ hearts are grieving. This man’s oh-so-abundantly loving heart offered healing to these elephants, and now, they came to pay loving homage to their friend.”

Elephants Travel 12 Hours To Attend A Vigil For The Man Who Rescued Them

Thanks to the local community, Thula Thula has the opportunity to add a further 3500 hectares of land to increase their habitat. This solution requires 35 km of electric fencing as well as roads, increased security, guard training, security equipment and vehicles, conservation, land management and the list just go on, to keep the wildlife safe. Community projects such as this, not only support the wildlife but also improve local employment and education.

Goodbye Iman, Malaysia’s Last Sumatran Rhino.

With the death of Iman, Malaysia has lost its last Sumatran Rhinoceros today.

She had been battling an illness prior to her death.

According to the Sabah Wildlife Department, Iman died at 5.35pm of natural causes, categorised as shock.

Iman, Malaysia’s Last Sumatran Rhino Has died.

“Iman’s death came sooner than we had expected. “But we knew that she was starting to suffer significant pain from the growing pressure of the tumours into the bladder,” said Augustine Tuuga, director of Sabah Wildlife Department in a statement.

The statement added that veterinarian at Borneo Rhino Sanctuary Dr Zainal Zahari Zainuddin, had earlier today suggested to start using morphine tomorrow, as other painkillers were becoming insufficient.

The Sabah Wildlife Department had hoped that it would still be possible to obtain some egg cells from Iman for the proposed Malaysia-Indonesia collaboration on this species.

But the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding is still pending.

It was reported that State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew had said the state government is hoping to expedite the legality process with Indonesia to fertilise Iman’s egg with the republic’s male Rhino and surrogate female Rhino.

“I would like to inform our counterparts in Indonesia that I am keen to pursue the MoU. Iman’s death is a tragedy, but this is one event in a bigger picture.

“There are still ways in which our twin countries can usefully collaborate based on our different experience over the past decade.

“For Sabah that includes management of female Sumatran Rhinos with reproductive pathology, safe harvesting of gametes from living Rhinos, and cell culture. Iman and Tam both live on as cell cultures in Malaysia,” said Liew.

Despite knowing that Iman’s death was imminent, Liew said she was still very saddened by this news.

“Iman was given the very best care and attention ever since her capture in March 2014 right up to the moment she passed.

“No one could have done more. She was actually quite close to death when sudden massive blood loss from the uterine tumours occurred on several occasions over the past few years,” she added.

In addition, Liew said the team at Tabin Wildlife Reserve provided round-the-clock intensive support and successfully brought her back to good health and egg cell production on several occasions.

On Wednesday, the 25-year-old Iman was reported as deteriorating from non-malignant tumours.

The tumour has been with her since her capture and had spread to her urinary bladder.

R.I.P. IMAN

The Thula Thula Land Expansion Project For Elephant Habitat

Lawrence-Anthony-Lawrence-002
The Late Lawrence Anthony With Two Of The Original ‘Rogue’ Elephants

Elephants had never been part of Lawrence Anthony’s plan for Thula Thula, but in 1999 he was telephoned by a conservation organisation which asked whether he would be willing to take on a herd of nine animals which had escaped from every enclosure they had ever been in, wreaking havoc across KwaZulu-Natal, and were considered highly dangerous. Realising that the Elephants would be shot if he declined, Anthony agreed to give them a home.

But he was the herd’s last chance of survival – notorious escape artists, they would all be killed if Lawrence wouldn’t take them. He agreed, but before arrangements for the move could be completed the animals broke out again and the matriarch and her baby were shot. The remaining Elephants were traumatised and very angry. As soon as they arrived at Thula Thula they started planning their escape.

“They were a difficult bunch, no question about it,” he recalled. “Delinquents every one. But I could see a lot of good in them too. They’d had a tough time and were all scared, and yet they were looking after one another, trying to protect one another.”

Lawrence decided to treat the Elephants as errant children, working to persuade them, through words and gestures, that they should not behave badly and that they could trust him. He concentrated his attention on Nana, the matriarch of the herd: “I’d go down to the fence and I’d plead with Nana not to break it down,” he said. “I knew she didn’t understand English, but I hoped she’d understand by the tone of my voice and my body language what I was saying. And one morning, instead of trying to break the fence down, she just stood there. Then she put her trunk through the fence towards me. I knew she wanted to touch me. That was a turning point.” Soon they were allowed out into the reserve.

As Lawrence battled to create a bond with the Elephants and save them from execution, he came to realise that they had a lot to teach him about love, loyalty and freedom. Set against the background of life on the reserve, with unforgettable characters and exotic wildlife, he wrote The Elephant Whisperer, a book that appealed to animal lovers worldwide.

la-elephant_whisperer
The Elephant Whisper

After his death, Lawrence’s beloved Elephants came to his house to say goodbye.

When Lawrence died at the age of 61 in 2012, two herds of wild South African Elephants slowly made their way through the Zululand bush until they reached the house of late author, the conservationist who saved their lives. The formerly violent, rogue Elephants, destined to be shot a few years ago as pests, were rescued and rehabilitated by Anthony, who had grown up in the bush and was known as the “Elephant Whisperer.” For two days the herds loitered at Lawrence’s rural compound on the vast Thula Thula game reserve in the South African KwaZulu — to say good-bye to the man they loved. But how did they know he had died? Known for his unique ability to calm traumatized Elephants Lawrence had become a legend. He is the author of three books, Babylon Ark, detailing his efforts to rescue the animals at Baghdad Zoo during the Iraqi war, the forthcoming The Last Rhinos, and his bestselling The Elephant Whisperer. There are two Elephant herds at Thula Thula. According to his son Dylan, both arrived at the Anthony family compound shortly after Anthony’s death. “They had not visited the house for a year and a half and it must have taken them about 12 hours to make the journey,” Dylan is quoted in various local news accounts. “The first herd arrived on Sunday and the second herd, a day later. They all hung around for about two days before making their way back into the bush. “Elephants have long been known to mourn their dead. In India, baby Elephants often are raised with a boy who will be their lifelong “mahout.” The pair develop legendary bonds and it is not uncommon for one to waste away without a will to live after the death of the other.

x29vo-elephants-vigil-1
Elephant’s  March To Pay Their Respects To The Man Who Saved Them

What Is The Thula Thula Land Expansion Project For Elephant Habitat?

The original herd of 7 Elephants that Lawrence Anthony rescued in 1999 has now increased to 30 Elephants meaning the maximum sustainable capacity of Thula Thula has been reached!

THULA THULA 3
The Elephants Of Thula Thula

How Can The Long-Term Future Of The Elephant Whispered Herd Be Secured?

Thanks to the local community, Thula Thula has the opportunity to add a further 3500 hectares of land to increase their habitat. This solution requires 35 km of electric fencing as well as roads, increased security, guard training, security equipment and vehicles, conservation, land management and the list just go on, to keep the wildlife safe. Community projects such as this, not only support the wildlife but also improve local employment and education.

For my part, I am doing a 10,000 feet skydive to help raise funds for this project.

By donating to this cause you are helping to secure the future for the Thula Thula Elephants and local communities.

Donate-BUTTON-elephant-300x

To help secure the long-term future of the Thula Thula Elephants please DONATE at https://t.co/bdiEDD7ljr 

For more information on Thula Thula’s Wildlife and Nature Conservation Projects please visit http://thulathula.com/conservation-fund-2/

Thank you for your support, Paul.

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