20 March Update: Attack on Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage – Big Solutions Needed Against Brutality

How can we Learn from this Tragedy and Take Even More Effective Action?

Thula Thula Rhino Orphans

In Memory of Impi and Gugu, killed in the raid.

20 March, Barbara Wiseman LAEO’s International President and Karen Wagoner a crisis management specialist are now in South Africa at the Rhino Orphanage to help with investigations and arriving at the best solutions for ensuring such an event never happens again.

In summary the event that took place was as follows:

On the evening of Feb 20th, 5 professional mercenary-style poachers invaded our baby rhino orphanage. They overcame the armed guard, tied up and badly roughed up the staff, and they shot and slashed off the horns of our two oldest rhinos, killing one immediately.  The second one had to be put down a few hours later as it was too brutally maimed to survive.

The staff were badly shaken up, and our International Executive Director Yvette Taylor from Durban began implementing emergency assistance measures for them. However protecting the remaining orphans and Thula Thula elephants nearby remains a challenge with more attacks predicted.  Further investigation and stronger measures must be put in place on an emergency basis. We have now sending two staff from our U.S. HQ offices to assist.

The poachers ransacked the staff quarters, took phones, computers, cameras, petty cash, and other valuables, and then fled.  All of this was in the middle of torrential rains from the outer edge of a nearby, offshore hurricane. Two suspects were captured by officials so far but this won’t resolve the on-going threat which is widespread.

The staff and executives are very capable of dealing with this providing we have our member’s support in the form of sustainable financing for such operations and your prayers. There are solutions for this but the timeline for implementation must be stepped up with great urgency.  We have a crowdfunding set up to support Karen and Barbara who are on the ground now with their sleeves rolled up!  Please help where you can: https://www.thedodo.com/thula-thula-rhino-attack-poachers-2278541451.html

If you have been heartbroken by this terrible event, please take the time to read Lawrence Anthony’s Message to Humanity and pass it on to others. This inspirational message and teaching of Cooperative Ecology is one thing you can do about reversing this seemingly incessant spiral of inflicting harm and hurt.

We think you will be inspired and find strength to imbue more life into your area by reading this article and hope you will help us spread it far and wide. Download booklet here: https://theearthorganization.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/message-to-humanity.pdf

The ultimate and longer term solution for curtailing these horrific crimes and behaviors is through education and restoration of human dignity. It is hard to imagine that anyone can become so thoughtless, cruel and degraded that they no longer have even a concept of right or wrong. Yes, law enforcement is necessary as well as places to lock criminals and thugs like this up. However, we believe that falling down to this level of degradation is preventable. In fact we must succeed at prevention or we may lose many more species and head into a new dark age.  One solution we are implementing is to reach people at a younger age, give them hope and a possibility for living a life of pride and self respect.  Our Cooperative Ecology educational programs are designed to do just that. We work to help every individual get a better sense that they are part of an interdependent life system.

Karen Trendler is the Director of our orphanage. She is the recognized world expert on baby rhino rehabilitation and release. To view a 13-minute speech given by her in 2012 about the realities of on-the-ground rhino conservation and rehab, go here.

The story was  covered by BBC and several other outlets. Interviews and news feed information can be found on the Rhino Orphanage Facebook page and an excellent report made by the Dodo.com.  https://www.thedodo.com/thula-thula-rhino-attack-poachers-2278541451.html

Our Best Answer

Imagine Earth without animals, without clean water or clean air, trees or plants…. the planet could not support life. This is where nature is headed if we don’t do something about it… now! The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization finds real solutions, and brings industry, governments, communities, and individuals together to cooperatively raise awareness and fully resolve environmental problems.  All life does best when it works together with other life. We invite you to join us in saving, protecting, and restoring this beautiful planet, and in making the world a healthy place for all… Because None Survive Alone!  

Please share: We Believe Video @ www.theearthorganization.org and

A Message to Humanity–https://theearthorganization.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/message-to-humanity.pdf

Thula Thula = Peace and Tranquility

How you can help? 

Immediate Emergency Assistance is needed for us to send an crisis management specialist team in to help:  https://www.gofundme.com/4ycgme-fund-my-volunteer-trip-to-africa