Save the Rhino Trust in Namibia use camels as a method of transport for their anti-poaching and monitoring work, all teamed with local people trained with their innovative community guards scheme. This is a small established venture that needs new housing, constant support, and new camels!
It ran from 2:26 PM, 30 December 2009 to 2:26 PM, 30 December 2009
Registered Charity in England and Wales (1035072)
Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) is an entirely indigenous non-governmental organisation based in the Kunene in the arid northwest of Namibia. Namibia is one of the world‚Äôs least populated countries, with vast swathes of inhospitable desert colonised only by the uniquely adapted animals, including the desert elephant and rhinoceros. Following two decades of work, SRT has teams of specialised trackers, research staff and game guards, as well as vehicles, animals and aircraft. It has a headquarters in the centre of the region that is a hub for local community involvement and enterprise, and is now one of the largest employers of indigenous people in Namibia. Most impressively, rhino numbers have more than doubled, one of only two African countries to experience a net gain. After the British adventurer Benedict Allan visited Namibia in the 1990s, he left his three camels in the care of SRT. As huge areas of the Kunene region are desolate and mountainous, the camels began to be used as a method of reaching areas that no vehicle could penetrate. Since this time more camels have been purchased and now form a vital part of the monitoring team, although the original donated camels are still a much-cherished part of the group. The continued presence of the SRT camel team in the ‚Äúcore area‚Äù of the Kunene Region‚Äôs black rhino range is crucial to the survival of the desert-adapted rhino, as it is within this area that 70% of this population lives. The camel housing provision is currently inadequate to protect them from predation by lions at night, with one camel being killed only a few months ago. Without secure bomas (pens) and on-site staff to provide security surveillance, it is likely that many more camels will be lost. With extra funding, SRT hopes to purchase more camels to increase the number of patrols, but only if they can first guarantee the safety and health of the present team. Money is also needed for training of local people as guards, and for more equipment for the rangers. It has become a major source of employment and income for the local communities, so loss of the team would be a serious blow for the indigenous peoples as well as the animals.
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