Rhino Conservation Project

Rhino Orphan and Response Project

This is a partnership with world renowned rehabilitation specialist Karen Trendler where a network of potential facilities and people are identified to house and care for orphaned or injured rhino. A further aspect is the training of a network of potential responders to a rhino poaching.

The current rhino poaching crisis is creating increased numbers of injured and orphaned rhino calves. Limited available rehabilitation expertise and a lack of a rapid response and coordinated referral and support network focusing on these calves have resulted in:

  • Low survival, rehabilitation and release rates.
  • Unnecessary deaths, prolonged suffering and further traumatization of these poaching casualties.
  • Proliferation of so‐called “calf rescue” projects that are being used as major fundraising and publicity drives. These projects often exploit the calves as a marketing and fundraising tool, while also taming and humanizing the calves (which then require permanent sanctuary or become potentially dangerous). Some of these facilities have also become sources of rhino for the international captive market.

However, with a rapid intervention and coordinated rescue response network in place, where the appropriate handling, rearing and rehabilitation protocols are implemented, many more of these poaching orphans and casualties can be rescued successfully, humanely and responsibly, and reared in such a manner as to maximize their full rehabilitation and return to the wild. The ultimate test of a successful rehabilitation of an injured or orphaned wild animal is when that animal can be returned to the wild as a free living, self sustaining viable animal, and breed and rear young successfully. Based on international wildlife response and contingency planning principles, the Rhino Orphan Response Project is being developed as a partnership between the Endangered Wildlife Trust and Ms Karen Trendler, an internationally recognised expert in rhino rehabilitation.

The project has two different aspects: Training and Rapid Response.



Increasing capacity and competence for crisis response and rhino calf rescue and rehabilitation

Establishing a co‐ordinated rhino calf rappit response

Developing standardised protocols on all aspects of rhino calf response rehabilitation, rearing and care

Supporting a facility, or network of facilities, operating according to established protocols and manned by skilled staff who facilitate responsible rearing and rehabilitation of rhino calves


Establishing a functional co‐ordinated network of facilities (existing and new) and trained rescue and response specialists

Downloadpamflet on Rhino Orphan Project

For any Rhino calf related queries, please contact:
Ms. Karen Trendler
Cell: 072 969 4499
Email: karojay@global.co.za