Foreword His Majesty King Zwelithini Goodwill kaBhekuzulu
Rhino are South Africa’s and particularly Zululand’s proud national heritage that have survived through the ages, dating back to the prehistoric era and it is very sad that their survival should now depend on man to save them from extinction when it is man who are presently destroying them. If we are to depart this earth and leave behind abundant populations of rhino for our future generations to enjoy, share and appreciate, we urgently need to take action against the perpetrators of wildlife crimes whilst doing all that we can to protect our remaining rhino populations. I appeal to the public including the international community to help the initiatives of the various local and international conservation agencies, the South African Government as well as NGO’s that are raising funds to save our rhino. We cannot allow these criminals to decimate one of the legendary “Big 5” animals as they are doing so purely for their own economic and selﬁsh personal gains. I fully support the efforts of PROJECT RHINO and I encourage you to do the same.
Dr Andrew Venter Chief Executive Ofﬁcer Wildlands Conservation Trust
In 2010 333 rhinos were illegally killed in South Africa, including 10 critically endangered black rhinos. This is a frightening statistic considering that South Africa provides sanctuary to 76% of the worlds rhino population. This is up from 122 in 2009, 83 in 2008 and 13 in 2007! Of the 30 species of rhino that once roamed the planet only 5 remain. In Africa, only the black rhinoceros and white rhinoceros still exist. The decline in rhino numbers in South Africa has been largely caused by poaching for luxury products and traditional medicines, driven by the dramatic increase in demand for ground rhino horn in the East. Despite the army being mobilised, conservation and law enforcement agencies scaling up their anti-poaching activities and growing public awareness, this poaching is unlikely to stop. Trade in drugs and the trafﬁcking of women and children continues to grow despite the efforts of hundreds of thousands of the world’s police and intelligence forces. Unfortunately, it would seem that it is the same crime syndicates that are driving the trade in rhino horn. Rhinos have been around for more than 50 million years
and play an essential role in the functioning of our ecosystems. They are also an umbrella species, meaning that the strategies put in place to effectively conserve rhinos will automatically lead to the conservation of various other plants and animals, including priority species such as African wild dogs, elephants and cheetah. Rhinos, together with the rest of the ‘Big 5’, drive South Africa’s tourism industry, enabling the effective management of our wild areas and providing development opportunities and job creation in neighbouring communities. PROJECT RHINO is Wildlands response to the devastating affect poaching is having on South Africa’s rhino populations and its potential impact on the regions biodiversity and community livelihoods. My personal vision is to see every single rhino in Africa under constant GPS surveillance, and to put an end to the killing of these magniﬁcent creatures. With your help, I think it is possible. To our title sponsors Investec UK, our ﬂight sponsors Lufthansa, our partners Christies, Dylan Lewis Studios and Save the Rhino, and all our other support sponsors, thank-you for helping us achieve this vision.
nvestec is proud to sponsor the Wildlands Project Rhino Fundraising Auction at Christie’s. Aimed at stemming the tide of rhino poaching in South Africa, Project Rhino intends to place every rhino in the country under 24-hour GSM-based monitoring protection. It’s an innovative and important initiative and we’re no strangers to the power of original thinking ourselves. Our extensive range of products and services includes capital markets, investment banking, asset management, wealth & investment, private banking and property investments. May we take this opportunity to extend our thanks to sculptor Dylan Lewis, wish Wildlands every success in their endeavours and wish you luck in bidding for one of the ﬁve exclusive lots. The funds raised at this event will have a positive eff f ect for generations to come. Enjoy the auction.
Over the last few years much work has been done to better resource and train the anti-poaching units in South Africa’s reserves, but still, the number of rhino poaching incidents continues to escalate. It is with this in mind that Wildlands initiated PROJECT RHINO. A range of workshops and scientiﬁc studies have shown that the current trend in rhino poaching needs to be addressed in a holistic fashion; improved monitoring, incident response, communication and security all need to be considered. Of paramount importance is an effective monitoring system that will allow reserve mangers to know exactly where the rhinos are at all times, and, more importantly, will alarm them when rhinos are in potential danger, thus curbing response time of anti-poaching units and ensuring effective policing of reserves. Rhino monitoring has posed a number of problems for scientists. Rhinos cannot wear standard game collars as their necks and heads are the same width and so collars fall off. The latest collars make use of GPS technology, allowing real-time monitoring of animals. GPS collars have proved extremely valuable in elephant conservation. However, a GPS collar can only work if the collar allows for a large battery to be ﬁtted on it at the same time. Since collars cannot be ﬁtted onto rhinos, scientists have to date relied on telemetry equipment. Tracking chips are ﬁtted into rhino horns. The signal these chips sent off are picked up by telemetry equipment carried by rhino monitors walking in the ﬁeld. Due to the short distance signal that telemetry equipment allows a monitor is always needed to track the rhino and it is mainly used as a supplement to traditional ground-monitoring of rhinos. In addition, rhinos are usually only monitored during daylight as a monitor would be placing his life at risk following a rhino into deep thickets
at night. Unfortunately, most poaching incidences take place at night when monitors are not around, thus nullifying the potential of monitoring in the battle against rhino poaching. Recent advances in technology have produced a GPS unit that can be ﬁtted into a rhino’s horn, thus allowing for real-time monitoring of rhino. The units are linked to a localised solar-powered GSM system that integrates with Global Positioning Satellites producing accurate information on the location of rhinos at all times. In addition, the information produced is sent to a 24 hour security control room that alarms monitors should a rhino be in a dangerous location in the reserve, deviate from its normal movement patterns or if a vibration is detected on its horn signifying that a poacher was trying to remove it. To date, GPS units and their batteries have been too large to be ﬁtted into rhino horns, but the new technology, that combines GSM with GPS allows for localised GPS tracking. This is an incredibly valuable tool in combating poaching and preventing future losses.
How it works: Starting with Somkhanda Community Game Reserve, Wildlands will be expanding PROJECT RHINO across South Africa to help ensure the security of the country’s rhinos.
THE INSTALLATION PROCESS
OUR VISION Through PROJECT RHINO we aim to put every single rhino in South Africa under constant GPS surveillance. We have started the project in Somkhanda Game Reserve in northern KwaZuluNatal, where the loss of two white rhino in the space of seven days towards the end of 2010 called for drastic action. The system is proving incredibly valuable and, since its activation in the reserve we have not experienced any other poaching incidences. The short-term plan is to expand the system to other reserves in KwaZulu-Natal and later beyond the province to North-West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo where poaching continues unabated.
The process begins by helicopter with the vet and pilot trying to locate a rhino by air. Once a rhino is spotted, the pilot gently herds the animal to an opening to which the game vehicle can acquire easy access. From the air, metres above the animal, the vet darts the rhino and follows the animal until it drops to make sure that the animal causes no injury to itself.
The rhino is then blindfolded and ear plugs are inserted so as not to cause the animal any discomfort or stress. A drill is used to make a sizeable hole in the horn into which the GPS device can be inserted, which takes around ten minutes.
This is the GPS unit that is inserted into the horn. The ﬁrst thing the GPS unit does is establish a rhino’s patterns. If its movements are a bit different; if it walks into a danger area; or if it is close to a fence, it will also set off an alarm. If someone attempts to take a chainsaw to the horn, it will cause a vibration which also sets off an alarm, just as it does if an animal stands still for too long. The main aim is to improve response time. If someone does manage to remove a horn, the GPS will still be inside and there is a target to follow.
A non-toxic epoxy resin is poured into the cavity and then the device is inserted.
The vet then wraps the horn with tape to keep the transmitter in place until the resin sets before he injects the animal with an antidote to reverse the affects of the tranquiliser.
The rhino is then very closely monitored by the vet while it wakes to ensure that the animal is unharmed and ready to go off on its own.
LOT 01 Love in the heart of Zululand Guide Price: £10 000
Five nights for two people at Thanda Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Winner of the 2010 World Travel Awards as ‘World’s Leading Luxury Lodge’, Thanda Private Game Reserve is situated 23km north of Hluhluwe in northern Zululand, South Africa. Thanda, meaning ‘love’ in the Zulu language, unites romantic decadence and exclusivity with Zulu culture and wildlife and is set on a 14 000 hectare Big Five private game reserve. The inimitable integration of South Africa’s best climate and rehabilitated rich bush land has made Thanda home to amazing wildlife, including rhino, lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo. Enjoy a ﬁve night stay for two people sharing in one of Thanda’s luxury bush villas. The package includes game drives, all meals and local drinks on game drives, a romantic bush dinner, a picnic on Sodwana beach and a visit to a Star for Life school and a performance by the choir. The Star for Life mission is to help and support high school students to live an AIDS–free life in order to fulﬁl their dreams. The nine luxury bush villas at the main lodge have private
inﬁnity pools, viewing decks, private salas, lounges, ﬁreplaces and full bathrooms with both indoor and outdoor showers. The individual bomas at each villa offer guests dining privacy for a romantic evening. The public facilities at the main lodge include a lounge, library, dining room, boma, dining deck, wine cellar, cigar bar, fully equipped business centre and viewing decks. Safaris in open game viewing vehicles are conducted exclusively for Thanda guests on the 99% malaria-free reserve. Thanda’s award-winning wellness centre offers many treatments such as reﬂexology, aromatherapy and massages using African essential oils in a base of shea butter and the Africology range. Vula Zulu, a traditional homestead adjacent to Thanda is a showcase of traditional Zulu warriors performing age-old dancing rites, as was done prior to and after battle. Come and experience exclusivity, romance and Zulu culture in the heart of the untamed African bush. (Flights not included)
LOT 02 Walking with Rhino’s Guide Price: £8 000
An eight night Wilderness Trail for four to six people, iMfolozi Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Remove yourself from the noise of everyday life, still your mind and venture into the wilderness. Led by an experienced Wilderness Guide, you will walk along ancient animal paths through iMfolozi Game Reserve and experience the vital wild lands that are home to Southern Africa’s largest population of white rhino. Spend evenings around the camp-ﬁre, sleep under the stars and journey softly and simply through the wilderness. Home to all of the Big 5 including rhino, elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo, Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park is the oldest game reserve in Africa proclaimed in 1896. As the home of “Operation Rhino” in the 1950s and 60s, which saved the
white rhino from becoming extinct, the Park became world renowned for its white rhino conservation. Its game capture, recently upgraded into the Centenary Capture Centre, is a bench mark for animal capture in Africa. It was also here that the ﬁrst guided wilderness trails in Southern Africa were run, in the 1950’s. Step out of your comfort zone and discover wild africa on foot. The experience includes a visit to the park’s world famous Game Capture Centre, 2 nights in the iMfolozi Trails tented camp and a 6 day, 6 night guided walk through the iMfolozi Wilderness, including camping equipment (backpack, sleeping bag and mat) and all meals. (Flights not included)
LOT 03 Experience the Heartbeat of Africa Brought to you by the eLan Group Guide Price: £14 000
The eLan Group are property developers based in Southern Africa who feature strong lifestyle, leisure, family and ecofriendly developments. Emphasis is placed on uplifting local communities, headed up by the eLan Foundation, and the preservation of natural beauty by the adoption of an intentionally eco-sensitive approach. Enjoy 2 nights for 2 people at Thula Thula (meaning peace and tranquility in Zulu), a Game Reserve set in KwaZulu Natal and home to the world-famous Elephant Whisperer and author, Lawrence Anthony. The re-introduction of a family herd of seven elephant in August 1999 marked the historic return of these great creatures to the area for the ﬁrst time in 100 years and sets the backdrop to his book. Enjoy a private dinner with this acclaimed conservationist and founder of The Earth Organisation. Thula Thula is the oldest private
game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, and former hunting ground of legendary Zulu King, King Shaka. The package includes all meals and game drives. Move on to the world famous Winelands of the Western Cape with 3 nights for 2 people (bed & breakfast) at Le Franshoek Hotel (a Three Cities Hotel). Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa has become one of the most romantic getaways in its class. Located on the site of one of Franschhoek’s original country retreats, Le Franschhoek retains its elusive charm with a contemporary Cape Dutch feel. Capturing the essence of ﬁve star luxury, the impeccably appointed Le Franschhoek offers unparalleled views of the Franschhoek Mountains and is the perfect setting for a taste of the legendary Cape Wine Routes. (Flights not included)
LOT 04 ‘Refuge’ - Kirsten Goss Guide Price: £12 000
Taking her cue from the hues of the African bushveld, Kirsten Goss chose yellow 18-carat gold as the precious metal from which she fashioned this bespoke three-tiered ring. In a nod to the dry, almost burnt, bush grass that rhinos favour as ideal terrain, Kirsten sourced black, cognac and white diamonds as embellishment. While the striking design is simple and conceptual, the three tiers, with their hand-carved slits, evoke a birds-eye view of a tree whose branches cast shadows over the solid white-gold ﬁgurine – redolent of a square-lipped white rhino – seeking refuge safely beneath. Each of the goldsmiths who work in the Kirsten Goss studio in KwaZulu-Natal contributed to the process of crafting this solitary refugee. Dedicated rhino enthusiasts will only be able to spot the shy, well-concealed creature if they make a concerted effort to explore the precious terrain within which it resides. Since launching in London in 2002, Kirsten Goss has poured her passion for unique design and unparalleled craftsmanship into every piece of jewellery she has created. Her irrepressible
joie de vivre, sensitive attention to detail and an intuitive understanding of contemporary beauty has struck a chord with the aesthetically sophisticated, conﬁdently authentic woman of today. A qualiﬁed jewellery designer and gemmologist, Kirsten is inexhaustible in her passion for experimenting with metalsmithing techniques, stone cutting and inspirational combinations of the two. Exceptional design, uncompromising quality and a philosophy of value over volume has seen Kirsten Goss London grow from strength to strength. In 2009 a state-ofthe-art goldsmithing studio was established in South Africa to service the international demand for frequent Kirsten Goss exhibitions in the style capitals of the world. Brought up in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, within a family that has been consistently invested in nature conservation, Kirsten is deeply concerned about rhino poaching in South Africa, and glad to have this opportunity to support the Wildlands Conservation Trust’s efforts to stem this tide through their PROJECT RHINO initiative.
LOT 05 Leaving a Legacy Guide Price: £12 000
A four night rhino darting experience for four to six people at Somkhanda Community Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Two or three couples will join the PROJECT RHINO game capture teams in darting ﬁve black rhino and ﬁtting them with GPS tracking units at the Somkhanda Community Game Reserve in Northern KwaZulu-Natal. Couples will join expert veterinarians in tracking and darting critically endangered black rhino with helicopters. Couples will have ﬁrst-hand experience assisting the team of experts in caring for the rhinos once they are darted, and keeping them calm whilst state-of-the art GPS units are ﬁtted in their horns. These units will allow for real-time tracking of rhinos, thus ensuring their continued monitoring and safe-keeping from would-be poachers. Somkhanda is a 16 000 ha Game Reserve owned by the Gumbi community, who dedicated their
land to conservation. The reserve has recently been proclaimed making it the ﬁrst time in South Africa’s history that a tract of land restored to a rural community through the government’s land reform policy, has been proclaimed a protected area. Somkhanda creates a vital conservation corridor between the Zululand Rhino Reserve and Pongola Nature reserve, and the ultimate vision is to connect this area with the St Lucia and Swaziland reserves. This is one of the last big areas in KwaZulu-Natal that can potentially create migratory corridors between reserves for large mammals, including the critically endangered black rhino and African wild dogs. The package includes all meals, drinks and accommodation as well as campﬁre talks by legendary conservationists, game drives and nature walks in the stunning 16,000ha game reserve. (Flights not included)
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Wildlands would like to thank the following organisations for their contribution to PROJECT RHINO and for stemming the tide of rhino poaching in South Africa
All material for this event printed on Sappi Triple Green paper Rhino photography courtesy of Ian Rushworth, Stewart Nolan and Save the Rhino
Our support runs deep We know what it’s like to invest energy and effort in what you believe in. We believe in giving something back. For many years we have extended our support to a wide range of community initiatives and development programmes both in the UK and abroad. The eff f ects are far-reaching and we hope to build on this support. For more information, please call 020 7597 4000 or visit www.investec.com
Investec Specialist Bank and Asset Manager is proud to sponsor the Wildlands Project Rhino Fundraising Auction at Christie’s South Kensington, London.
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Published on May 15, 2011
The evening is being held with the intention of raising funds to help stem the tide of rhino poaching in South Africa. A staggering 333 rhi...