"Every debate is important because it keeps the issue alive, and right now that is critical if rhinos are to survive." Ian Player
The Wilderness Foundation’s Forever Wild Conservation Programme was developed by the Wilderness Foundation in 2011 as a response to the rhino poaching crisis and is active through the Rhino Protection Initiative.
The programme is now in the process of being expanded to include lion, leopard, elephant and great white shark conservation initiatives as they represent key species symptomatic of the challenges facing the environments in which they live. By using iconic wildlife species as the flagship to draw attention to challenges facing conservation and wilderness areas across Africa, conservation initiatives can be directed towards these species resulting in the protection of landscapes and the associated wildlife including all the biological components which drive these systems.
The Forever Wild Conservation Programme will continue to work with both state and privately owned protected areas to promote effective management, expansion and innovative means to involve and benefit local communities.
Click here to find out how you can SUPPORT the Forever Wild Conservation Programme...
The Forever Wild Rhino Protection Initiative has deployed six VW Amarok vehicles to various reserves across the Eastern Cape and South Africa to assist in anti-poaching activities.
Due to security constraints, exact details of the vehicles cannot be given to the public, but here are some of our most recent highlights:
In June, one of the VW Amaroks was used at the MkhuzeAirshow in a live simulation of a rhino poaching reaction sequence. This included both the VW Amarok and a helicopter.
The Amaroks have also been used in the deployment of special ops members and tracker dogs following tip-offs, and investigations. A number of suspects have been arrested and poaching equipment confiscated – including many weapons.
The highly effective Forever Wild Rhino Protection Initiative was given a boost in June 2011 through the sponsorship of six Volkswagen Amarok bakkies from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
The vehicles were allocated to various reserves and anti-poaching units across the country, each managed by the Forever Wild head office team. This contract was renewed in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
In the video below, Lawrence, one of the rangers, talks about how his Amarok vehicle helps him be more effective in his various efforts to help prevent rhino poaching.
Precious the rhino is one of four rhinos to narrowly escape poachers at the Elandela Private Game Reserve earlier this year. Unfortunately, they all sustained bullet wounds which need to be treated in order to prevent infection.
To help carry the cost of each procedure, and the experts needed to perform the veterinary services, three organisations have collaborated to help care and treat the four rhino. These include Investec Rhino Lifeline, Chipembere Rhino Foundation and the Wilderness Foundation’s Forever Wild Rhino Protection Initiative.