May 2016 - With the annual increase of rhino poaching not only in South Africa but in the Eastern Cape Province, the need arose to complement the Shamwari Game Reserve Rhino Protection Unit with K9 tracking capacity.
The Chipembere Rhino Foundation (CRF) has facilitated and sponsored a dog as they successfully supplied trained dogs for rhino protection elsewhere in the Eastern Cape during 2014 and 2015.
The Chipembere Rhino Foundation identified a young Belgian Shepherd at a well-known Port Elizabeth based Dog School, which would fit all the requirements for anti-poaching tracking. The dog, Blade, 18 months old, was trained off site before it was introduced and trained by its handler, Cabous Pretorius, at Shamwari Game Reserve since the beginning of April. Blade had to adapt to a Big Five environment which he has done perfectly.
Comments Shamwari Group General Manager, Joe Cloete: “Blade will be a valuable asset in the fight against rhino poaching and will primarily be utilised to locate and apprehend rhino poachers. We sincerely thank the Chipembere Rhino Foundation for arranging Blade to come and work at Shamwari Game Reserve.”
Blade will be officially introduced as a working dog after completion of his final exams at the end of May.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHIPEMBERE RHINO FOUNDATION
After witnessing the senseless slaughter of their two rhino breeding bulls in 2010, Brent and Chantelle Cook, owners of HillsNek Safari Camp in South Africa decided to step up their conservation efforts. Along with their business partner, Paul Naudé, the Chipembere Rhino Foundation was established in 2010. The Chipembere Rhino Foundation is a privately run non-profit organisation aimed at protecting and promoting the population growth of the southern white rhino and supporting the stringent anti-poaching efforts needed in Africa.
The Chipembere Rhino Foundation specialises in continuously sourcing, testing and funding technology for effective monitoring of rhino; funding tracking and apprehension rhino dogs; providing anti-poaching teams with vital equipment; collaborating with wildlife reserves and raising awareness. The exceptional commitment of the Chipembere Rhino Foundation team, its volunteers and donors, as well as the public, ensures the Foundation provides tangible equipment, intelligence, technology, education and relocation assistance to rhino custodians across Southern Africa.
Sponsors for Chipembere Rhino Foundation include - The Rotary Kenton on Sea, The Port Alfred Rotary Club, The Interact Club PAHS & Joy Downie