9th May marked the 2 year anniversary of Cumbria Zoo Company being awarded our very own license to operate a zoo at the site of Safari Zoo. On that day we were given the license to run the zoo, however the running of the zoo is only possible due to the hard work and dedication of each and every member of the team, from keepers to admissions, to office to maintenance and catering. The ongoing success of Safari zoo is made possible by every supporter, visitor, member and adopter – to them we say a huge thank you!
It’s been a busy 2 years with many important moments along the way, from the receipt of breeding recommendations from the Endangered Species Breeding Programmes for Red Pandas, Andean Bears and Ring Tailed Lemurs, to the sponsorship of Red Panda forest Guardian Bishal Gurung in Ilam Nepal, the launch of our homeschool programmes and being the first UK Zoo to sign up to the Carbon Free Dining initiative repairing our carbon footprint in support of the Green Earth Appeal.
In 2018, Cumbria Zoo Company announced our first commitment to conservation with the sponsorship of orphaned Rhino Calf Arthur the Brave at Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary in South Africa. I seemed only fitting that on the eve of our anniversary, we were able to send our support payment to Arthur and friends.
Arthur’s story of Rescue will be familiar to Safari Zoo followers and The Mail readers but can be found here https://www.southlakessafarizoo.com/arthurs-army/
Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary was founded by Petronel Nieuwoudt in 2001, the Sanctuary’s mission is clear; “to rescue every rhino that is orphaned, to heal them and to provide a totally secure environment where they can grow, roam free, and breed to ensure that there will always be rhinos in Africa.” Based in Mpumalanga, rhinos are poached at extremely high rates (averaging 2 a day in 2018) and whilst reductions in the number killed per year have been seen, these have been alongside increases in poaching incidents in less protected areas.
Each of the five remaining Rhino Species are heading for extinction. The Javan rhino is Critically Endangered with only 69 remaining; the Sumatran Rhino too carries a Critically Endangered Classification with less than 100 remaining, as does the Black Rhino with a population in the region of 5,000. Due to increased and concerted conservation in both India and Nepal, the Greater one Horned or Indian Rhino has seen populations rise from just 200 to 3,500. The Southern White Rhino recovered from a near extinction population of 50–100 in the early 1900’s to a population of over 17,000.
769 South African Rhinos were poached 2018, 259 less than the 1028 killed in 2017, but that is still 2 killed each and every day. On the surface this may be encouraging, however whilst anti-poaching activities may account for the reduction, this could also be a result of it simply being harder for poachers to find them. 2017 also saw increased poaching activity in less defended areas, we are potentially in danger of organised poaching teams relocating.
Practicing 3 principles of Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release, Care for Wild support the survival of existing rhino populations by providing the highest level of protection, ensuring the safety and security of the rhinos under their care and the continuation of thriving populations in South Africa for future generations.
Security measures include 24/7 monitoring, highly trained armed game scouts, mobile response units, communications network, crime intelligence, intense surveillance and live video monitoring, trained counter poaching dogs and their respective handlers, watchtowers, electrified fencing, and aerial support.
A month’s supply of milk for Arthur costs 3500 SA Rand (£187), or £6 a day. Lucerne for a growing rhino costs 100 SA Rand, or £5 a month and 250 SA Rand or just £14 funds gas for his heater. 100% of donations received go directly to Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary in Support of Arthur and his friends. Donations can be made in the zoo or via our webstore
To learn more about Arthur’s plight and the animals under threat of extinction visit us this Saturday, 19th May, for our nod to Endangered Species Day.