RhinoProtect was founded by Damian Vergnaud, owner of Inverdoorn Game Reserve and Iziba Safari Lodge in the Western Cape, South Africa. Following the poaching of rhinos at neighbouring game reserves, Vergnaud stepped up security patrols on his own reserve, hired extra staff, invested in expensive night-vision equipment and deployed helicopter patrols – all in an effort to protect the rhinos.
Inverdoorn, in consultation with veterinary professionals and concerned staff, started searching for further means of protecting these noble creatures. Extensive research and discourse ensued and led to the development of a barium and dye-infused treatment that would be injected into the rhinos’ horns.
As a result of this treatment, the horn becomes coloured, X-ray detectable and unfit for human consumption. It does nothing to affect the rhino, nor did it alter the outer appearance of the horn. The treatment was rolled out to other reserves in South Africa as well, in a bid to save as many of the nation’s rhinos as possible; and so RhinoProtect was born.
With the threat to Inverdoorn’s rhinos becoming very real, and the ongoing rise of poaching in South Africa, Damian felt that treating the horns was justified. The game reserve’s rhinos are now protected and as an added measure poachers have been warned that the horns are treated. With the introduction of two baby rhinos to Inverdoorn in 2012, RhinoProtect established an orphanage at the reserve to further help conserve the species.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
The most important thing, as I am constantly saying, is to think about small ways in which we can make a difference — every day.
Be the change that you wish to see in the world
Only when the last of the animal’s horns, tusk, skins and bones are sold, will mankind realize that money can never buy back our wildlife.