Did you know that those "BIG5" white rhinos are picky eaters? I didn't. During our dry season lasting 4 months, when there is little grass, supplementary feed needs to be bought to ensure our rhinos survive. They can't eat leaves from trees/ shrubs - only grass, favourite is lucerne but it has to be brought in from over 200kms to their home in Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park. Getting small scale farmers to grow this grass is a Win-Win - rhinos survive and farmers get more income. Hurrah.
Jack, our 2 year old little boy rhino says "Mummy I'm hungry". The dry season has descended on the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park in Livingstone Zambia and grass is disappearing at a very quick rate. A major concern is that if the park cannot supply sufficient grass, dietary deficiencies will have a direct impact on the growth, health, and fertility of our great white heroes. Also, in 2019 Romeo(3) and Lubinda(7) left the National Park looking for food and were killed by a speeding truck driver.
There is an urgent need to buy grass for the rhinos daily feed during the challenging dry season. Engaging local smallscale farmers to grow grass will bring a sustainable solution to an annual problem benefiting both wildlife and humans. Covering costs of personal insurance for the wildlife rangers will give their families more security as they go about tasks to protect rhinos. Road safety measures like flashing lights can warn drivers to slow down and look out for rhinos and other wildlife.
These funds will ensure that the well being of our precious white heroes is improved and numbers in the group will increase. A ready local market for the lucerne will ensure livelihoods can be improved for our local farmers and their families encouraging their interest in conservation. Supporting the rangers who guard our Heroes is an expensive 24/7 operation - less spent on transporting grass, more can use to improve conditions for our Wildlife Ranger Heroes, the Park and for little Jack.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).