In early September one of our valued staff members, Hollie, volunteered her time to the Rhino Fund Uganda.
Established in 1997, Rhino Fund Uganda has the responsibility of looking after the wellbeing of the only wild rhino in all of Uganda. It was set up to repopulate Uganda with wild rhinos. Both rhinoceros breeds, black and white, are globally endangered and in 1983, both black rhinos and northern white rhinos were declared extinct throughout Uganda. Therefore, the purpose of Rhino Fund Uganda is to return rhinos, back into Uganda, through their breeding and release program.
Located in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, the 7 000 hectares of savannah and woodlands has provided Rhino Fund Uganda with land for the rhinos.
We asked Hollie why she decided to volunteer for the Rhino Fund Program. “The program has been formulated for people wanting to contribute to conservation. It offers an exciting experience that gives individuals the opportunity to conserve these magnificent animals. Being able to volunteer with rhinos gives me the opportunity to protect some of the most endangered species in the world.”
Animal lover Hollie during her week took part in the following activities:
- Rhino Monitoring. due to the ongoing epidemic of rhino poaching it is vital that rhinos are monitored 24/7. 12-hour shifts required Hollie to track the rhino allocated to her as well as keeping an up to date datasheet of the rhino behaviour and activities
- Tracking and locating bull rhino. Bull rhino roam long distances and need to be found on a daily basis.
- Animal tracking and Bird identification. As there are many different animals on the property and identifying them is essential. Hollie was shown how to identify antelope, birds, reptiles and mammals.
- Night patrol, due to 90% of small animal poaching taking place at night, duties involved patrolling the fence lines and problematic areas on the sanctuary.
- Problematic Plant Removal
- School Outreach & Activities, where Hollie painted the school playground
Hollie said, “taking part in so many rewarding activities; it’s hard to name just one highlight, to be able to take a part of this amazing experience is important to me. We must look after these beautiful creatures.”
Volunteering is not new to Hollie; she has previously given up her time to support Samboja Lodge a venture of Borneo Orang-utan Survival Foundation. Gaining first-hand knowledge on what is required to rebuild a forest and the preservation of the endangered Borneo Orang-utan. Before this the Elephant Valley Project in Cambodia.
Did you know?
- The name rhinoceros means ‘nose horn’ and is often shortened to rhino.
- There are five different species of rhinoceros, three native to southern Asia and two native to Africa. They are the Black Rhinoceros, White Rhinoceros, Indian Rhinoceros, Javan Rhinoceros and Sumatran Rhinoceros.
- All five species of rhinoceros can grow to weigh over 1000 kg (2200 lb).
- White rhino can weigh over 3500 kg (7700 lb).
- White rhinoceros are generally considered the second largest land mammal (after the elephant).
- Three of the five rhinoceros species are listed as being critically endangered.
- Rhinoceros have thick, protective skin.
- Relative to their large body size, rhinoceros have small brains.
- Rhinoceros horns are made from a protein called keratin, the same substance that fingernails and hair are made of.
- Rhinoceros are often hunted by humans for their horns.
- Rhinoceros are herbivores (plant eaters).
- A group of rhinoceros is called a ‘herd’ or a ‘crash’.
- Despite their name, White Rhinoceros are actually grey.
Facts sourced from http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/animals/rhinoceros.html