Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation Blog

WILD HEART WILDLIFE FOUNDATION BLOG & NEWS

Life 4 Lions

#Life4Lions #Life4Lions Our comprehensive, ongoing #Life4Lions Project will run for the next several months, as we await permission from the Government to move through each stage. The attached pictures and video show the latest completed section of work. Please continue to support this endeavour – we have a long road ahead of us, with extensive […]

Emergency Wildlife Rescue Fund

Emergency Wildlife Rescue Fund needs a Boost!   Our WHWF Emergency Wildlife Rescue Fund needs a Boost! The ability to be able to act quickly when confronted with a Wildlife Emergency, is invaluable. At Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation we have, over the past few years, successfully completed numerous Wildlife Rescues, often without having adequate resources. […]

Rhino Milk Needed Urgently

Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation regularly and consistently supplies the rhino orphanage with everything they need to look after the precious victims of poaching in their care. Over the past four years, we have supplied more than ZAR1.2million’s worth of special milk, food, medication, capital and infrastructure items to help the dedicated human carers to continue saving […]

2 August 2020 Primate Rescue & Rehabilitation

2 August 2020: Focus Area: Primate Rescue & Rehabilitation Another successful #WHWF Project completed! When we received a call from Bambelela to help with food and meds for the rescued monkeys in their care, we immediately jumped into action. Home to almost 400 Vervet Monkeys being rehabilitated for freedom and wild living again, Bambelela was […]

13 May 2020 Primate Rescue and Rehabilitation

13  May 2020: Target Area: Primate Rescue and Rehabilitation #Rescued #VervetMonkeys get Emergency Food during COVID-19 #LockDown: At Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation, we strive to always help where we can, and we’ll never ignore an animal in need. With the Covid-19 #LockDown entering its 7th week in South Africa, the future is looking very bleak […]

African Wild Dogs – Spotted Phantoms

Highly Endangered – Effective Predators – Stunningly Beautiful The African Wild Dog, Lycaon pictus (means ‘wolf-like, painted’), is without a doubt one of the most fascinating animals that roam the African wilderness. They are highly endangered, with only around 450 truly free-roaming (wild) animals in South Africa today. Sadly, they have disappeared from most of […]

Pangolin, The most Trafficked Animal in the World

Pangolins are officially the most-trafficked animal in the world. In October of 2016 at the CITES convention held in Johannesburg, South Africa, all eight species were upgraded to Appendix 1. This means that international trade in animals is strictly prohibited. In addition to this there are some amazing people working tirelessly to save this exceptional […]

Rhino Orphans Left Behind By Ruthless Poachers Deserve our Help

None so special as those who have everything to lose: The Rhino Poaching Scourge in South Africa is an international Tragedy because of its horrific cruelty, and the absolute nonsensical demand for Rhino horn. The silent victims who have no voice are the almost 100 rhino babies in sanctuaries in South Africa at present. They are […]

A KING WITHOUT A COUNTRY

In 1975 there were an estimated 250,000 Lions on the continent of Africa. In 2014 the numbers of these gracefully majestic African lions, have plummeted down to an estimated 25,000 on the whole African continent, A loss of 225,000 in only 39 years. The estimated 2,500 Lions that are left in the wild in South Africa does […]

One Elephant killed every 15 minutes

Poachers have killed over 100,000 Elephants in three years. The insatiable demand for ivory is causing a dramatic decline in the number of African elephants. Poachers are hunting the animals faster than they can reproduce. In the early 1970s, demand for ivory rocketed with 80% of traded raw ivory coming from poached elephants. A ban was […]

Trading Rhino To Extinction

Rhino Horn is not medicine nor a status symbol for the wealthy. The removal of rhino horn powder from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in the 1990’s had largely reduced demand. During this period, horns sold for very little on the illegal black market, and on average, only around 15 rhinos were poached in South Africa each year from […]

“The Big 5” Is “Big Money”

“THE BIG 5″ is “BIG MONEY” and WORTH FAR MORE ALIVE. South Africa’s Big Five is much better for the country than previously thought. A leopard that lives for 15 years contributes more than R85 million to the state coffers. That’s the finding of a study conducted by the research institute Tourism Research, Economics, Environment and Society […]

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African Wild Dogs – Spotted Phantoms

Highly Endangered – Effective Predators – Stunningly Beautiful

The African Wild Dog, Lycaon pictus (means ‘wolf-like, painted’), is without a doubt one of the most fascinating animals that roam the African wilderness.

They are highly endangered, with only around 450 truly free-roaming (wild) animals in South Africa today. Sadly, they have disappeared from most of their natural habitat range. One of the four free-ranging populations in SA occurs in Limpopo, and this is the area where Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation  is supporting a new research project to help save them from extinction.

These amazing animals are dying out as a result of habitat loss, human persecution and the outbreak of disease. They are mercilessly killed by subsistence and livestock farmers as a result of human – wildlife conflict.

Wild Dogs are highly social animals, with strong family bonds and a firmly established hierarchy. There are typically an Alpha Male and Alpha Female who rule the pack, separately ‘ruling’ over members of their gender. All other members of the pack are subservient to them.

The African wild dog is the bulkiest and most solidly built of African canids, standing 60–75 cm (24–30 in) in shoulder height, and weighs 20–25 kg (44–55 lb) in East Africa and up to 30 kg (66 lb) in Southern Africa.

Hunting typically starts at dawn or dusk, and is preceded by an elaborate greeting ritual involving lots of woops, licking and tail-wagging.

They are highly specialised diurnal hunter of antelopes, which get caught by chasing them to exhaustion. Highly effective, they hunt by approaching prey silently, then chasing it in a pursuit of up to 66 kilometres per hour (41 mph) for 10 to 60 minutes.

The same reason that makes these dogs such amazing predators, is one of the contributing factors to their disappearance – they are just such effective hunters, and need to eat much more per capita than e.g. lions. This makes livestock a prime target for them.

The African wild dog is a fast eater, with a pack being able to consume a Thompson’s gazelle in 15 minutes. In the wild, the species’ consumption rate is of 1.2–5.9 kg meat per wild dog a day, with one pack of 17–43 specimens in East Africa having been recorded to kill three animals per day on average. The young are allowed to feed first on the carcasses.

  

The African wild dog is a highly successful hunter. Nearly 80% of all wild dog hunts end in a kill; for comparison, the success rate of lions, often viewed as ultimate predators, is only 10%

Certain packs in the Serengeti specialized in hunting zebras in preference to other prey.  One pack was recorded to occasionally prey on bat-eared foxes rolling on the carcasses before eating them.  Hyenas sometimes act as kleptoparasites by stealing food that the Wild Dogs hunted.

Wild Dogs appoint ‘nannies’ to look after their young when they go hunting. They would then bring the carers and babies food by regurgitating some of the meat so their family can eat.

The gestation period lasts 69–73 days, with the interval between each pregnancy being 12–14 months on average. The African wild dog produces more pups than any other canid, with litters containing around 6–16 pups, with an average of 10, thus indicating that a single female can produce enough young to form a new pack every year.

Because the amount of food necessary to feed more than two litters would be impossible to acquire by the average pack, breeding is strictly limited to the dominant female, which may kill the pups of subordinates.

The San of Botswana see the African wild dog as the ultimate hunter, and traditionally believe that shamans and medicine men can transform themselves into the wild dog. Some San hunters will smear African wild dog bodily fluids on their feet before a hunt, believing that doing so will gift them with the animal’s boldness and agility.

There is only one of the factors contributing to their demise that we are in a position to address. With the Wild Heart Wild Dog Project we are attempting to develop a practical deterrent to prevent Wild Dogs from attacking livestock. As it is still in the fledgling stage, we can only say that it would involve ultrasonic sound frequencies.

If successful, this could be the solution to protect other endangered predators from human wildlife conflict as well.

This project is crucially important to the continued existence of these precious predators in the wild. We are working closely with the Legend Wildlife & Education Centre, who also hosts the crucially important ‘The Rhino Orphanage’. (Ongoing support to TRO’s Rhino Orphans is one of our main functions, and you can support us by clicking on this link; (Wild Dog Project/Rhino Orphanage).

Wild heart Wildlife Foundation was proud to have supplied the new game fencing  below, to help with this important Wild Dog project.

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Pangolin, The most Trafficked Animal in the World

Pangolins are officially the most-trafficked animal in the world.

In October of 2016 at the CITES convention held in Johannesburg, South Africa, all eight species were upgraded to Appendix 1. This means that international trade in animals is strictly prohibited. In addition to this there are some amazing people working tirelessly to save this exceptional species.

All eight species are listed as endangered or vulnerable on the IUCN red list.

There are eight species of this scaled and elusive creature. Four of them, The Indian pangolin, Formosan pangolin, Sunda pangolin and Palawan pangolin are found in Asia and are different because they have tiny bristles between their scales. In Africa the four species found south of the Sahara are the Temminck’s ground pangolin, Tree pangolin, Giant pangolin and the Long-tailed pangolin.

These ant- & termite eating little animals are the only mammals covered in scales consisting of keratin (the same as in fingernails, hair, and similar to rhino horn).

As they have no defence against humans, aside from rolling themselves into a ball, poachers can simply pick them up and bag them without any resistance. This makes them vulnerable beyond belief.

  

Interesting Facts about Pangolins:

  • They only have one baby per year, in Winter.
  • When threatened, they roll into a ball to try and protect themselves. The name ‘Pangolin’ is derived from meaning ‘something that rolls into a ball’.
  • Humans are their worst enemy, as other animals mostly leave them alone. Lions and leopards will try their luck, but cannot bite through the scales.
  • Pangolins walk on their hind feet, using their tails for balance and holding their front feet with its sharp claws in the air like hands. They use their powerful claws to break open termite mounds and ants nests to get to the juicy insects inside.
  • They can climb trees and swim.
  • Their lifespan is unknown, as they do not do well in captivity. The oldest recorded pangolin in captivity lived for 19 years.
  • Pangolin scales are smuggled by the ton, meaning that thousands of these animals are being killed per month. It is estimated that around 100 000 pangolins are killed and smuggled every year.
  • They do not have teeth, thus they cannot chew. The millions of insects they eat annually are ground up in their stomachs via stones and keratin to enable digestion.
  • They grow 50cm – 1m in length, with their weight being 5 – 15 kg. Their sticky tongues can be longer than their bodies!
  • Pangolins are Solitary, Nocturnal Animals.
  • Poaching of Pangolins is fuelled by Superstitious beliefs of ‘Medicinal’ efficacy.
  • A coat of armor made from Pangolin scales was given to King George III in 1820.

 

  • Share this Article, and create awareness for the plight of these animals
  • Keep your eyes and ears open, and report all Wildlife Crime and Suspicious Behaviour to your nearest Authority
  • Support trusted Conservation Authorities, whose Anti-Poaching teams will also protect Pangolins in their territories and projects. Make sure these organizations adhere to Transparency and #EthicalConservation Practices. To Support Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation in our various Wildlife Projects, please go to: Help our Wildlife
  • Share this information on all Social Media Platforms.
  • Educate Children where possible, and foster the love for animals in their hearts.

 Copyright 2018: Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation

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Rhino Orphans Left Behind By Ruthless Poachers Deserve our Help

None so special as those who have everything to lose:

The Rhino Poaching Scourge in South Africa is an international Tragedy because of its horrific cruelty, and the absolute nonsensical demand for Rhino horn.

The silent victims who have no voice are the almost 100 rhino babies in sanctuaries in South Africa at present. They are the babies whose mothers were targeted in one of most barbaric of all criminal activities – poaching.

Most of the rhino are being poached inside the National Parks of South Africa, but once a baby gets rescued, it is in a kind of no-man’s land, with the rescue centres receiving very little assistance from the Government. It is unlikely that this scenario will change in the near future, so ongoing support of legitimate rescue centres are needed. You can help by donating at: paypal.me/wildheartwildlife

Pictured below is WHWF delivering desperately needed supplies to The Rhino Orphanage.

  

One man and his team of dedicated carers are making a difference in the lives of precious rhino babies: Arrie Van Deventer started The Rhino Orphanage in 2012, with the sole aim of looking after and rehabilitating the victims of poaching. It was a world first, and many doubted that it would ever be needed as much as it is right now. But Arrie stuck to his dream, and with the help of his friend Paul Cilliers from Legend Lodges, the dream took a physical form. The Rhino Orphanage is a very special place, because no animal is turned away – Arrie’s love for them runs way too deep.

With Limpopo’s beautiful Hangklip Mountain silently watching over the rhino orphanage in the heart of the African bush, it is difficult to fathom the need for these sanctuaries. Man’s greed seems to be a world apart from there.

The Orphanage is not open to the public, because the aim is to re-wild the babies into a safe haven once they are strong enough. Nobody here wants a petting zoo. Every true animal lover wants the rhinos to be free, wild, happy and safe (with their horns intact like nature intended). It’s just that it is becoming increasingly challenging to get that done. Orphaned baby rhinos are often very weak, severely traumatized and dehydrated, because they refuse to leave their dead or dying mothers. They need intensive care and specialized treatment as soon as possible, and likely for a few months after being rescued.

Below are a few pictures of the babies successfully rescued and being cared for.

 

 

As soon as the Rhino Orphan gets a bit stronger, their constant human contact needs to be reduced, so that the human imprint can start fading. This is crucially important if there is any hope of them being truly wild and free to be released into a safe haven.

Rhino babies are split into different age groups, because they are so strong – they can easily hurt one another when different ages are grouped together. Unfortunately this also means that sometimes a baby can be lonely, having no-one in his or her age group for company. This is currently the case with Jaime, a two month old White Rhino baby. Babies like these need more human care than babies in pairs or groups.

Below we are delivering hundreds of meters of shade netting and Powdered milk for the babies.

  

The saddest part, Arrie says, is that we are only saving around 10% of the babies who fell victim to having their mothers poached. This means that only one in ten babies are making it to the orphanage to be cared for, the rest are not making it out of the reserves where they die from dehydration, starvation or injuries resulting from the poaching attacks. It is a heart-breaking statistic.

  

 
*Pictured above are the orphan Rhinos who are gradually being reintroduced back into the wild.

Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation continues with our Fundraising Drives for the orphanage. With the generous support of the public, we have been able to supply the orphanage with critically-needed supplies and capital items, to enable them to go about their important work of saving the rhinos. This included a generator for power outages, infra-red lamps to keep the babies warm, oxygen tanks along with desperately needed medical equipment and supplies, 500 liter water troughs perfect for thirsty rhinos, Hundreds of meters of shade netting and field fencing among loads of other necessities, all of which can be viewed on our “How can you help” web page. Somehow we manage to tick quite a few of the bigger items needed off the wishlist! These deliveries are part of WHWF’s ongoing Project RhinoOrphanCare, and illustrates our commitment to Ethical Conservation. Because the needs of these babies are ongoing, they need continuous support, which we aim to provide to the best of our ability.

With our consistent support over the years, the babies Lunga, Faith, Kabelo, Kabira, Muffin, Matthew and Lesedi, among others, have grown into happy little rhinos, mostly spending their days in the bush, free and wild. They could be seen turning their well-fed little butts to our viewing vehicle, as they trotted away from us. It was a heart-warming sight, because they are learning to be rhinos, and will soon not need human assistance any more. Seeing them growing into wild beauties, is why we do what we do. It’s the only way for them to be. And it is what we want for all our precious rhino. We have so much to lose…

WHWF also support the unsung heroes “The Anti-Poaching Rangers” who help protect our precious Rhino orphans and their caregivers. We are proud to have supplied equipment and uniforms to these brave men pictured below who are on the front line of poaching.

 

Paul Oxton, Founder/Director and the team at Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation would like to thank all who support us in our mission to help our precious Wildlife in need.

*Pictured above are Lunga, Faith and Matthew enjoying their days in the sun while gradually being reintroduced into the wild.

You can become part of ‪#‎TeamWild, by joining us on our mission to Save Wildlife.  You can help by donating on this page or at: paypal.me/wildheartwildlife

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A KING WITHOUT A COUNTRY

In 1975 there were an estimated 250,000 Lions on the continent of Africa. In 2014 the numbers of these gracefully majestic African lions, have plummeted down to an estimated 25,000 on the whole African continent, A loss of 225,000 in only 39 years.

The estimated 2,500 Lions that are left in the wild in South Africa does not include more than 8,000 Lions in captivity, being bred for the bullet or the arrow to satisfy the disgusting canned Lion hunting industry.

Also the destruction of their natural habitat is fast pushing them towards extinction. Where once upon a time, they roamed freely across the globe, today they are confined to few regions on the planet, mainly in parts of Africa.

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One Elephant killed every 15 minutes

Poachers have killed over 100,000 Elephants in three years.

The insatiable demand for ivory is causing a dramatic decline in the number of African elephants. Poachers are hunting the animals faster than they can reproduce.

In the early 1970s, demand for ivory rocketed with 80% of traded raw ivory coming from poached elephants. A ban was put in place in 1989 by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and all international trade was prohibited in an attempt to combat this massive illegal trade.

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Trading Rhino To Extinction

Rhino Horn is not medicine nor a status symbol for the wealthy.

The removal of rhino horn powder from traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in the 1990’s had largely reduced demand. During this period, horns sold for very little on the illegal black market, and on average, only around 15 rhinos were poached in South Africa each year from 1990 to 2007.  
 
Since 2008, the purchase of Rhino horn as a status symbol by the wealthy in Vietnam & China, has increased exponentially.  In addition, the renewed, but misguided belief that the horn does indeed have medicinal value, has escalated demand even further, causing a record number of animals poached in 2014.
 
 
Stockpile of seized rhino horn.
 
Rhino horn is not a miracle cure for  cancer or an aphrodisiac for the impotent, so why talk about the legal future trade?  It is unethical and immoral.
   
The pro-trade fraternity have used the ancient Asian myth and the flawed argument that Rhino horn use would be sustainable as a reason to lift the ban on trade. This cannot be further from the truth! False information like this should not be used to push for or justify trade that is economically non-viable. It is also morally and ethically wrong to sell something to a community, based on an ancient myth.
 
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“The Big 5” Is “Big Money”

“THE BIG 5″ is “BIG MONEY” and WORTH FAR MORE ALIVE.

South Africa’s Big Five is much better for the country than previously thought. A leopard that lives for 15 years contributes more than R85 million to the state coffers. That’s the finding of a study conducted by the research institute Tourism Research, Economics, Environment and Society (Trees) of the North-West University’s Potchefstroom campus which was commissioned by SANParks. Prof. Melville Saayman of Trees and the lead researcher said yesterday that eco-tourism and especially the Big Five were invaluable for South Africa.

Hunters know exactly what a wild animal is worth, but the value of the same animal in a national park had not yet been determined. The organization “Trees” in a recently published study found that tourists are willing to pay more than R3 500 to view the Big Five in the Kruger National Park. The research team found a small family of three people spent about R10 000 for a four-day visit to the Kruger National Park. The researchers questioned about 600 visitors to the park.

The visitors were asked to indicate how much of their holiday money they would spend to see the Big Five. According to the results they are willing to pay on average R1 136.43 to see a leopard, R1 007.17 for a lion, R753, 12 a rhinoceros, R658, 91 for an elephant and R498, 50 for buffalo. Saayman pointed out the average lifespan of a leopard is estimated at 15 years and if 5 000 people saw the animal annually, this is an R85 232 250 contribution to the economy.

“The Kruger National Park attracts over a million visitors per year and this income supports between 300 000 and 600 000 people who live in the park’s surrounding areas,” Saayman said. The team conducted research at Punda Maria in the north of the Park and the Olifants Letaba and Mopani Rest Camp. Saayman said it is clear from the research that eco-tourism is a major job creator and that it makes a tremendous contribution to the public purse.

The findings can be very positive consequences for wildlife conservation organizations and private reserves. From a marketing standpoint, the addition of the Big Five to more parks and private game reserves is a highly attractive bait for visitors Saayman said.

http://spurwingtourism.com/the-big-5-is-big-money/

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