In 1970, a rhino poaching epidemic began that was to hit black rhino populations severely. The crisis continued to deplete populations right through to the late 1980s and early 1990s, so much so that by 1993, there were only 2,475 black rhinos left in the world. At the start of the 1990s, rhino enthusiasts Dave Stirling and Johnny Roberts took themselves on a ‘Rhino Scramble’ across Africa, raising money to help the fencing of the Aberdare Rhino Sanctuary and meeting a wide range of rhino conservationists along the way. Whilst travelling, they met Rob Brett, Kenyan Rhino Co-ordinator at the time, and started to talk about what they could do for rhinos.
On 28 February 1994 the group officially registered as a UK charity, as Save the Rhino International (charity number: 1035072). Not long after securing charity status, Save the Rhino International took on the challenge of a lifetime, walking from sea level to the roof of Africa. Covering over 300km, a team of staff and friends walked for four weeks from Mombasa, Kenya, to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. The group had one main goal: to raise awareness of the plight of the black rhino in Kenya. And of course, the charity’s 10kg rhino costume accompanied them every step of the way. They were joined by school children and officials along the walk, and money raised was to benefit both rhinos and local communities.
Since 2001, Save the Rhino has grown from a little charity raising about £300,000 a year to make grants for on black rhinos to an effective and professionally run organisation raising c. £1,300,000 in 2014-15 to make a wide range of grants across all five species of rhino in six African and two Asian countries on a regular basis. The charity’s willingness to pay for the basics – for rangers’ salaries and rations, vehicle fuel and maintenance, basic kit and equipment – is deeply appreciated by the field programmes it supports.
Vision: All five rhino species thriving in the wild for future generations
Mission: Collaborating with partners to support endangered rhinos in
Africa and Asia
Strategies: To conserve viable populations of rhinos in the wild by:
Raising funds to protect and increase rhino numbers and population distribution in African and Asian range states
Facilitating the exchange of technical support and information between rhino conservation stakeholders
Working with programme partners to develop community participation in rhino conservation initiatives at levels appropriate to each site
Supporting evidence-based demand-reduction work to disrupt and reduce the trafficking of illegal rhino horn into consumer countries
Raising awareness of the challenges facing rhinos, engaging supporters and inspiring positive, urgent action
Together with an enabling strategy:
Measuring, evaluating and improving effectiveness across all areas of our work
Where is Save the Rhino International