Mount Etjo Rhino Trust
The Okonjati Wildlife Sanctuary was established in the early 1970's, by the world renowned conservationist, Jan Oelofse.
Ever since, the Oelofse family ( Jan's widow Annette, his son Alex and Alex's wife - Carola and their children Jan jr. and Keira) have been working tirelesly for conservation, creating a 36 000 hactare sactuary for various rare and endangered species.
"Etjo" means - Place of Refuge, and here the mighty black and white Rhino would find their own place of refuge.
Rhino has always been the top priority for the tireless conservation efforts by the Oelofse Family, and the Sanctuary was rewarded, as one of the very first rhino custodians in Namibia, for government-owned black rhino in 1993.
The Mount Etjo Rhino Trust was established by the Oelofse Family in 2015, due to the increase of orphaned rhinos, caused by an alarming rate of poaching incidents all over the country.
Annette Oelofse started raising and caring for orphaned animals from a young age, but it wasn't until 1995, when she recieved a 7-day old, mulnutritioned rhino orphan, that she realized her absolute passion - to raise, care, save, protect and conserve this wonderful and vulnerable, iconic specie.
This rhino, as well as so many others through the years, was saved from the doorstep of certain death and given a second chance at life, to live out a wild and fully productive life on the Okonjati Wildlife Sanctuary. Nossie, who was the first orphan saved by Annette, already gave birth to 9 calves to date.
Annette's philosophy and aim is to raise the young orphans as wild as possible, with minimal human contact, to achieve a smooth integration and reintroduction back into the wild population and their natural habitat.
Click on the links below to see footage of our rhino orphanage:
Legalizing the Trade in Rhino Horn
Past efforts to curb poaching of rhino horn and the brutal killing of rhinos, continue to fail. Education, anti-poaching and surveillance are costly and rely on other sources of income. Many rhino custodians are unwilling to take the risks associated with keeping rhino, and unable to cover these immense costs. Listen to Alex Oelofse, explaining the current situation and the need to legalize the trade in rhino horn:
Objectives for raising funds:
Milk and Glucose
Orphaned rhinos consume approximately 25 litres of fat free milk and 1 kg of glucose per rhino / day, and need to be fed for a period of 14 months, before weaning can take place.
Surveilance and Anti-Poaching
Surveilance is an absolute must for the protection of wildlife. Rangers need to be trained in specialized observation methods and equipment such as binoculars, two-way radios, protective clothing, firearms and weapons are needed for their safety as well as self-defence and firearm training.
Having both fixed-wing and helicopter aircraft on the sanctuary is an effective way to fight poaching, with Alex and Annette able to fly both aircraft. Operating aircraft is expesive and the trust contributes to regular surveillance flights and fuel costs.
The trust established a training camp, with an operations room and physical training facilities where a private anti-poaching company train their rangers for the fight against poaching, both on the sanctuary, as well as on other locations throughout Namibia.
Veterinarian costs are extremely high for wildlife, especially for rhino, because of the specialized skill involved, as well as the extreme distances that need to be travelled in order to treat them.
Communication is key to any anti-poaching initiative. Clear, direct instructions and reports can only be achieved through high quality digital radio communications, which are expensive to install and maintain. The trust provided fixed radio stations, vehicle and handheld radios, as well as a repeater tower for clear long-range communication.
A dedicated team of professional rangers are permanently employed, to follow, observe behaviour, identify individuals and identify food sources and areas utilized. Speacial equipment like binoculars, handheld radios, telephoto cameras and salaries are provided by the fund.
Security and Control Points
Security gates were erected at entry and exit points, with 24 hour manned posts, controlling and logging in all movement.
CCTV cameras and Camera traps
Cameras are not only mounted at the security gates, but also in and around the sanctuary, to observe both human and animal movements. Camera recordings help to identify trespassers and suspicious movements, which can then be followed-up by deploying rangers to investigate.
You can support our GoFUndMe campaign here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/save-orphaned-rhino-quottatulekiquot?member=&utm_medium=email&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_email%2Binvitesupporters
Here are our trust account banking details, your support will be highly appreciated.
MOUNT ETJO SAFARI TRUST
BRANCH CODE: 481573
SWIFT CODE: BWLI NANX