We have seen the headlines regarding violent rhino poaching, the extinction level for rhino is fast approaching. The epic increase of the poaching of rhino in South Africa, has seen an unprecidented number of rhino lost which means we are going to get there faster . We cannot allow this to happen. If poaching continues unabated we are looking at extinction in the next 7 years.
South Africa has less then 7500 white rhino left - a mere handful when you consider that a few years ago their numbers were over 15 000. For the critically endangered black rhino the situation is even more precarious... Unless some serious action is taken, these magnificent animals, these awe-inspiring and painfully shy species, will be wiped off the face of the earth due to the insatiable greed of man.
Rhino and elephant are dying at an alarming rate. They are being hacked to death - if they were human we would call this genocide. To put it into perspective, a rhino is killed every 8 hours and an elephant is dying every 15 minutes. The clock is ticking.
Throughout Africa, the brave rangers tasked with protecting rhino are in dire straits. They are overwhelmed, undertrained, outgunned and are killed indiscriminately by criminal syndicates. They are reluctant soldiers fighting a war they have no idea how to win . The poaching syndicates have international reach, funding and weapons needed to get their greusome job done. The market they supply, are decimating rhino for the value of their horns -for nothing more than keratin, the SAME substance as your fingernails.
That we have even reached this point and that it is getting worse by the day feels like insanity personified. It is estimated that the poaching and trafficking of wildlife parts is a $213 billion industry and is directly linked to funding terrorism and extremism.
Poaching of rhino for their horn and elephant for their ivory is funding terrorist and extremist organisatons such as ISIS and Bokoharam. Profits are high in the illegal trade: a kilogram of elephant ivory can fetch $2,000 on the black market; the same amount of rhinoceros horn can command up to $65,000, sadly making it one of the most expensive substances on earth.
However, out of this chaotic nightmare of greed, death and fear, an example of hope has emerged to take the fight head on. Perhaps it's no surprise that it came from a former U.S. Marine named Ryan Tate . Ryan had the brilliant idea to utilize the skills he aquired whilst conducting counter insurgency missions for the military in Iraq. These very skills are what he is putting into use to stop the criminal syndicates profiting from poaching in Africa. It is a massive task one we know Ryan and his team are up to.Ryan Tate, U.S.M.C., VETPAW founder.
Frustrated and angered by the loss of these helpless animals to man's barbaric greed, Ryan started an organization called VETPAW. VETPAW is a dedicated group of U.S. Combat Veterans commited to stopping the criminal slaughter of rhino and elephants in Africa.
VETPAW.org, (Veterans Empowered to Protect African Wildlife) employs experienced combat, Post 9-11, U.S. Veterans with the skills they honed on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, whilst serving their country. The organisation works with local law enforcement, Vets are put to work protecting endangered rhino and elephants, training park Rangers as well as a QRF (Quick Reaction Force) to assist anti-poaching units in South Africa.
Our Vets need your help fight more than ever. Without your support we cannot do what we do - protect innocent elephant and rhino from the poacher's bullet and blade. We have to stop this happening.
With your donation you are helping Veterans meaningful employment to utilize their skills from the US Military, in order to help turn the tide against the slaugher of these magnificent creatures and curb the unprecedented level of cruelty.
Permission for use of image by Adrian Steirn
Have you ever shed tears or felt the rage over the senseless slaughter of these giants? Not knowing what to do but hope that there will be a day that poaching stops.
Well, that day has come!!
We are fundraising to put another operational team, on the ground in South Africa, in order to expand our ability to protect more elephants and rhino, whist employing veterans to do so.
We absolutely cannot do it without your help. VETPAW.org is a registered NPO and 501c(3) that relies solely on donations. You can support us, whether it be through a once off donation or on a monthly basis, we leave that up to you.
Ryan Tate and our Vets thank you for your love and support. Rest assured that your donation of hard-earned money will go directly to employing U.S. Veterans to join our organisation and stop the madness that is poaching.
Together we can do this. Our Veterans are amazing, resourceful and brave human beings. Now - let's go and save these African giants - together
For your donation of $250.00 or more you will receive a limited edition VETPAW cap with our removable patch!
South African Sunday Times: