Rhino Recovery Fund
October 10, 2020
8:15 am PDT
The Rhino Recovery Fund (RRF) launched in mid-2020 to protect rhinos from wildlife crime and restore their landscapes, while also improving the health of rhino populations and benefiting local people. Rhinos once roamed Africa and Asia in abundant numbers, but the illegal horn trade and rampant habitat loss have caused their populations to shrink dramatically. The RRF funds projects that aim to stop rhino poaching, curb the demand for their horns, and both protect and restore their natural habitats. Through the joint efforts of conservationists and local communities, rhinos can reclaim their lands and recover their numbers. In its first few months, the RRF has already supported nine projects in six countries and disbursed over $908,000 for rhino recovery.
Dr. Markus Hofmeyr graduated as a veterinarian from the University of Pretoria in 1994. He worked as an exotic animal vet until 1995, when he joined the North West Parks and Tourism Board as a field ecologist for Madikwe Game Reserve. From there, he went to Kruger National Park in 1999, eventually becoming Head of the Veterinary Wildlife Services Department for South African National Parks in 2003. Markus moved to Botswana in 2017 to be Chief Conservation Officer for Great Plains Conservation, overseeing rhino translocation to the Okavango Delta for Rhinos Without Borders. Markus is currently a program officer at the Oak Foundation, in addition to his role as Director of the Rhino Recovery Fund.
Director, Care for Wild Board
Mark has more than 18 years of experience with communities in Barberton and surrounding areas, and has been working for over 20 years in the political sphere. Mark brings his unique skill set to conservation at Care For Wild. He has successfully led as a community liaison and provided political support coordination for the recently inscribed Barberton Makhonjwa World Heritage Site, the first in South Africa's Mpumalanga Province, since 2010. He also worked in Parliament for the ANC Parliamentary Caucus and the Parliamentary Constituency Office as an Office Administrator.
Founder and CEO, Care for Wild
Petronel has protected wildlife for over 25 years. After finishing her university studies in 1991, Petronel became a captain in the Endangered Species Protection Unit of the South African Police Service. In 1999, she started The Game Capture School, South Africa’s first training academy for best practices in wildlife capture, care, and management. She led the school for 10 years, and in 2011, moved to Mpumalanga to found Care for Wild Africa. Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary NPC was established in 2015 to address the rhino poaching crisis. They have rescued over 80 rhinos and plan to rehabilitate and release them into protected ecosystems. Petronel’s vision is one that is inclusive of community involvement and sustainability.