Hoedspruit was the first town in SA to be declared a de-horned zone and the people of Hoeds have done
some amazing things to help save their local Rhino, a wonderful story of a town coming together to deter poachers.
Since 2010, over 2,500 Rhino have been poached to fuel a growing demand for Rhino horn in Asia.
RHINO GOLD – A documentary on Rhino poaching in South Africa
HOEDSPRUIT is a small town in the south of the Limpopo province of South Africa, 30 mins from the world renowned Kruger National Park, and surrounded by dozens of Nature Reserves and Private Game Farms.
The community of Hoedspruit has a historical spirit of working together for conservation and for the protection of endangered species, protecting South Africa’s natural heritage. Within the last few years the community has once again come together to fight against the illegal and cruel poaching of Rhino, a problem which is close to exterminating the Rhino population in Africa.
Rhinos are being maliciously slaughtered in great numbers, with 1004 Rhino being poached in 2013 alone, and 668 the year before that.
The reason for this is in some Asian countries, Rhino horn is used in traditional medicine, as it is believed that their horns have medicinal properties. Although this has been scientifically proven to be false, the number of Rhino being illegally poached is growing at a frightening rate. The horn is made of Keratin, the same as human hair and nails, yet the value of Rhino horn has increased higher than gold, fetching $65,000 per kg.
As a reaction to this, Hoedspruit has come together to do all it can to stop rhino poaching in the area. An Anti-poaching unit has been set up, local farmers have come together to set up a Farm Watch, and the community frequently holds fundraising events to raise money for Rhino Conservation causes.
The documentary ‘Rhino Gold’ will focus on the everyday people of Hoedspruit and will demonstrate how huge differences can be made just from a community coming together and fighting for what they believe in. It will highlight the work that everyday people do within the community and will include interviews with local residents, game farm manages, owners of Rhino in the area, Wildlife vet services (who carry out de-horning), as well as exploring the other side of the story – The poachers – are they directly to blame or are there higher, more powerful forces to blame? What it is that influences normal South Africans to poach Rhino in the first place?
Why make this documentary?
In 2011, I spent 4 months living in Hoedspruit, South Africa. In my time there I was heavily involved in wildlife and nature conservation and was asked to assist with the de-horning of 2 Rhino on a private Game Lodge. This was part of an area wide de-horning process that was taking place, in order to deter Rhino poachers from the area. This was a frightening, incredible and sad experience for me. The Rhino just looked so sad without their horns, they almost didn’t look like Rhino at all – but at the same time, it is a temporary measure that will save them from becoming victims of brutal and cruel attacks. Whilst living in Hoedspruit, I quickly learned that the community had a deep rooted and historical spirit of working together for conservation and for the protection of endangered species. I saw for myself first had how members from all areas of the community, from farmers and housewife’s to vets and shop owners, came together and did all they could to help save their Rhino.
RHINO POACHING IN FOCUS!
2009 – 122 Rhino Poached
2010 – 333 Rhino Poached
2011 – 448 Rhino Poached
2012 – 668 Rhino Poached
2013 – 1004 Rhino Poached
2026 – It is estimated that rhino in the country will be extinct if no significant change in the number of rhino being poached.
The reason for this is in some Asian countries Rhino horn is used as an ingredient in traditional medicine as it is believed that their horns have medicinal properties. It is believed to help cure life threatening diseases such as cancer and some Vietnamese also believe that drinking a tonic made from the horn will detoxify the body and prevent a hangover. In traditional Chinese medicine, the horn, which is shaved or ground into powder and dissolved into boiling water, is used to treat fever, rheumatism, gout and other disorders.
Although it has been scientifically proven that the horn, which is made from keratin (the same as human hair and nails), has no medicinal properties what-so-ever, the number of Rhino being illegally poached is growing at a frightening rate. The value of Rhino horn has increased higher than gold, fetching $65,000 per kilo, making it economically profitable on the black market. The illegal trafficking of wildlife products, which generates $17billion a year, is the fourth largest illegal trade in the world after narcotics, humans and counterfeit products.
WILDAID Video – The Sickening Truth – http://www.wildaid.org
Please see below a link to my Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign ‘RHINO GOLD’