Just six weeks into the New Year at least 54 Rhinos have been butchered in South Africa for their horns. The figures released by SAN Parks earlier this month originally stated that the number stood at 52 but just hours later 2 more Rhinos were poached at Hluhluwe Private Game Reserve in Kwa-Zulu Natal. This major issue is ever growing and if it continued at this rate, some 450 rhinos could be slaughtered by the end of the year.

Although the awareness for Rhino Poaching is at an all time high, with many organisations and game reserves launching serious campaigns to encourage support for their anti-poaching programmes it seems the demand for rhino horns remains high and the poachers seem undeterred. With this said we are sure that with the continued support of the government, local reserves and worldwide supporters this endemic can be halted once and for all. So the question really is how can you, as an individual, get involved with animal conservation work and help against this terrible problem.

They say that charity starts at home and this could not be closer to the truth for helping to support the amazing organisations and initiatives that exist to combat against poaching. Thanks to the networks of social media that exist in the form of twitter, facebook and the likes, it allows the word against rhino poaching to be heard loud and clear across the globe. You can help us by simply joining these organisations social media platforms and help spread their message to your global contacts, thus helping to increase the awareness to people that may not even be aware of just how serious this issue really is. The more people we can inform, the higher our chance of success!

If you want to take the more hands approach you could take the step to get involved with some animal conservation work. Many projects exist that allow you to get involved with and work alongside the very conservation teams that strive to preserve the Rhinos that exist in the wild of South Africa. So how can your involvement in animal conservation work actually help? The main issue we have in South Africa is that Rhinos exist across vast expanses of land, in National Parks and Private Conservancies. Due to the sparseness of the species it makes it very difficult to monitor and protect the animals around the clock. Some reserves do have 24 hour anti poaching teams that are continuously locating and monitoring the rhino species however one team of dedicated conservationists cannot cover an area of thousands of hectares and ensure that every animal is accounted for every minute of every day. Your input to animal conservation work can firstly help educate yourself on the plight that each and every reserve faces. This will enable you to grow your passion for conservation and speak informatively and enthusiastically to help increase the awareness, secondly the money contribution you make to take part in animal conservation work is utilised by the conservation teams to contribute towards their counter measures against poaching.

Be assured that although the cases of Rhino poaching in South Africa are on the rise, more so is the awareness and passion of those that want to put an end to this disgraceful act of brutality. The power behind this passion will surely overcome the minority who feel the need to butcher these beautiful creatures and one day the Rhino populations in South Africa will exist without this ongoing threat.