Read: Rhino orphanage heartbre

Read: Rhino orphanage heartbreakingly forced to close after attack

Yet another blow for rhino conservation attempts…

Read: Rhino orphanage heartbre

The Fundimvhelo Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage has gathered quite a name for itself, the orphanage is well known for the countless young rhinos they have saved. In February, the orphanage fell victim to a brutal poaching attack that clearly has left a huge mark.

The orphanage has released a statement on their Facebook page where they explain the rationale behind their decision.

“FTTRO experienced a brutal poaching attack in February that resulted in an assault on staff and the tragic loss of two rhino calves that were both shot and their horns removed. Since the attack, the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation, who administers the facility, has focused on the immediate safety of the staff, volunteers and remaining animals on site as well as providing support for the police and security experts investigating the incident.”

“In a recent statement explaining the way forward, LAEO Directors detailed an interim plan to move the animals and staff off-site to give their team a chance to recover from the trauma and allow management time to conduct independent security assessments and review the findings of the criminal investigation. “It is LAEO’s responsibility to ensure that we meticulously weigh up all the factors of the investigation and security reports. Our focus is ensuring that the facility is safe for both people and animals, managed according to best practice animal rehabilitation protocols, and is sustainable.”

Thula Thula also explained that their security analysis revealed issues that would leave their staff and volunteers at further risk,  the cost of employing 24/7 security would be too expensive and affect the sustainability of the organisation.

The remaining donated funds will be transferred to “the facilities who have taken over the care of the rhino calves”. While this is a sad day indeed for local Rhino conservation efforts, Thula Thula has taken all the necessary steps to get the animals settled into their new home.

“The animals have now all been moved together with their handlers to ensure continuity of care, and all the rhino calves, as well as Charlie, the hippo, are doing well and have settled in their new surroundings.”