Petition Target: National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Derek and Beverly Joubert. Goal: Thank Derek and Beverly for their efforts to save rhinos.
‘Animal conservationists Derek and Beverly Joubert helped to save big cats in 2009 with the Big Cats Initiative, and now have started a new project called Rhinos Without Borders. In January 2015, they will move more than a hundred rhinos from South Africa to Botswana an in an attempt to diversify and save the dying species.
“South Africa holds more than 80 percent of the world’s population of rhinos, with only 26,000 of these animals left in the area. Most of these rhinos make their home in the Kruger National Park, but poaching has taken a toll on these majestic animals. In 2013, 1,004 rhinos were lost to poachers who kill these animals for their horns. So far, 618 rhinos have been killed in 2014, most of which have been lost in this national park. And it’s believed that more rhinos have been lost, as their carcasses have been found due to vultures eating the corpse before researchers and park rangers can get there.
“The Jouberts are moving the rhinos to Botswana for two reasons. Botswana wants the rhinos, and they have the lowest poaching rate. However, the project will prove to be a difficult one. Rhinos weigh up to three tons, and moving at least a hundred of these animals is a daunting task. While the park is accustomed to moving rhinos from different areas of the park, only fifty rhinos in the past ten years have been moved across the border. There is a two to five percent chance that rhinos could also die from this move, but it is a risk the conservationists are wiling to take if it means the rhinos are able to survive for years to come.”