The Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage is a refuge in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa where orphaned rhino from poaching are welcomed and cared for, writes Des Langkilde.
Buy a Raffle Ticket for a Weekend at Thula Thula
To raise funds for the Thula Thula Rhino Fund, and to get their security team anti-poaching training programme incorporated with the South African Police, Thula Thula Exclusive Private Game Reserve are offering TWO prizes (worth R14 000 each) in a ‘raffle draw’ competition.
The two raffle prizes are:
• Two nights for two people in the Imperial Suite at the Elephant Safari Lodge, and;
• Two nights for two adults and two children in a Family Tent at the Tented Camp.
• Both prizes are all inclusive of meals and safaris at Thula Thula Game Reserve.
The raffle tickets are being sold at R200 (20 USD, 12 GBP, 15 Euros) per ticket and the draw will be done on 31 March 2015. The winning tickets will be notified on 10 April 2015.
Launched by Thula Thula Exclusive Private Game Reserve, in partnership with Austrian animal welfare organisation ‘Vier Pfoten’ (Four Paws) and the local communities who provided the land, Fundimvelo Community Conservation Trust, the Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage opened in November 2014, and offers a refuge for baby rhinos whose mothers have been killed by poachers.
The orphanage comprises of a main-house to accommodate the veterinary nurse volunteers and security guards, an office and a meeting room for the local Zulu chiefs, a fully equipped clinic to treat and care for up to twenty injured or orphaned rhinos, and three bomas where the orphans are able to walk around in total security. The rhino rooms will be equipped with webcams so that guests at Thula Thula’s two lodges will be able to observe the rhinos without disturbing them.
Rhino horn is now worth more than gold ($90 000/kg) as demand has spiralled out of control in Asian countries (mainly China and Vietnam), where it is wrongly believed that the horn – made of the same substance as fingernails – has powerful healing properties. The slaughter continues with a horrific statistic of one rhino killed every nine hours – despite South Africa having declared war on poachers.
In 2009 Thula Thula Private Game Reserve in Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal took in two orphaned baby rhinos called Thabo (4 months old) and Ntombi (8 months old), and hand reared them until they were 18 months old. They were then released into the game reserve, under high surveillance with armed guards who watch over them day and night. They also, in October 2013, had their horns infused as a further measure to protect them.
“I would like to acknowledge the support from the great team who have worked hard at creating this magnificent project – from the architects and builders, to the project managers and consultants. A special thank you is due to Karen Trendler, a legend in rhino conservation, who shared her experience with us in creating this state-of-the-art rhino clinic. And to Yolande Kruger from Be Bold Consulting for offering her help in marketing designs and strategy. We shall be thanking all of our benefactors for their wonderful generosity on a special ‘Hall Of Fame’ plaque at the orphanage,” says Francoise Malby Anthony, the owner of Thula Thula Exclusive Private Game Reserve.