About Saving Rhinos
One woman's decision to make a difference.
The beginning of Saving Rhinos: The Javan Rhino
The alarming numbers of the Javan Rhino inspired me to launch Saving Rhinos in December 2007. I also work behind the scenes to provide research and subject matter expertise to verifiable members of the media, certain NGOs, and other projects.
Saving Rhinos is published by Annamiticus. Our efforts are supported with dontations and rhino t-shirt sales.
Saving Rhinos: Our Founder
"Because people need to know, that's why."
Rhishja is the Editor of the blogs Annamiticus, Rhino Horn is NOT Medicine, Project Pangolin, host of the weekly web series and podcast Behind the Schemes, Coordinating Producer for the documentary The Price, author of the book Murder, Myths & Medicine, writer for the environmental news blog Planetsave, and she was also a guest blogger on National Geographic's NatGeo News Watch (Rhino horn: All myth, no medicine) and contributor for the Jeff Corwin Connect Citizen Blog.
Her work has been referenced by diverse sources, including The New York Times, Antique Week, and Consultancy Africa Intelligence. She has been interviewed on Mongabay ("Belief and butchery: how lies and organized crime are pushing rhinos to extinction"), "The Wildlife" radio talk show, and BBC World Business Report.
Rhishja assists TRAFFIC Southeast Asia with public awareness campaigns, and has provided research to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and other organizations.
Through her tenacious research, Rhishja was one of the first to confirm that China was working to circumvent the international trade ban on rhino horn by exploiting a CITES loophole. The country had imported over 100 live rhinos from South Africa since 2000, for the purpose of "farming" rhinos and encouraging the "medicinal use" of rhino horns.
Check out her Article Series about China’s Rhino Horn Scheme:
- “Suspicions Confirmed: China Investing Millions in Rhino Horn Scheme.” Rhino Horn is Not Medicine. 02 June 2011.
- “Reports of More Rhinos Arriving in China from South Africa.” Rhino Horn is Not Medicine. 19 December 2010.
- “Chinese Researchers Hope to Turn Rhino Horn Cultivation into Thriving Enterprise While Avoiding CITES Scrutiny.” Rhino Horn is Not Medicine. 17 November 2010.
- “Concern Grows Over Possible Links Between Rhino Horn Demand and China’s State-Funded TCM Research.” Rhino Horn is Not Medicine. 05 October 2010.
- “Chinese News Reports Arrival of 12 Rhinos From South Africa.” Rhino Horn is Not Medicine. 03 August 2010.
- “Revealed: Location of China’s Rhino Farm and ‘Horn Harvesting’ Experiments.” Rhino Horn is Not Medicine. 20 July 2010.
See also: "'Medicinal Use' Pangolin Farms in China? [Photos & Video]." Project Pangolin. 16 January 2012.
Saving Rhinos: Field Liaisons
Saving Rhinos wishes to acknowledge the vital contributions of our Field Liaisons in Nepal and South Africa.
Suman Bhattarai -- Assistant Professor, Institute of Forestry, Pokhara Campus, Pokhara, Nepal
We have been working with Suman and his grassroots organization Partnership for Rhino Conservation (PARC/Nepal) since June 2009. Under Suman's guidance, PARC focuses on helping the residents of Chitwan National Park's buffer zone live side-by-side with the greater one-horned rhino.
We assist Suman with promoting PARC's efforts on our social media platforms and also with support from our t-shirt sales. The proceeds help pay for printing educational materials and sponsoring public awareness events that directly impact the people living side-by-side with the greater one-horned rhino in the Chitwan National Park buffer zone.
- Thanks to our partners in Nepal, our flagship posters featuring the message Rhino Horn is Not Medicine are now on display in several community areas near Chitwan National Park. See Update from Nepal: 'Rhino Horn is Not Medicine' Posters on Display in Key Areas
- Plans for Nepal's first orphaned rhino rescue center are moving forward! See Update from Nepal: Orphaned Rhino Rescue Center Concept Introduced to Local Community
- Recognizing a need for local people to communicate conservation achievements and best practices, PARC/Nepal leader Suman Bhattarai developed the idea of setting several "conservation cupboards" as a way to disseminate information among a network of local groups to influence a larger area. See Rhino Conservation Library and Networking Project Update, Nepal
- In recognition of World Environment Day, teachers and students in Chitwan sent a strong message to would-be rhino poachers by holding a rhino conservation awareness event in the heart of where four rhinos had been shot dead just one month prior. See Teachers and Students in Nepal Celebrate World Environment Day with Rhino Conservation Event
- Over 2,000 locals throughout the CNP buffer zone area enjoyed the public awareness event presented by PARC/Nepal and Hands for Conservation - while media coverage extended the program's reach to an additional 3,000 people. See Rhino Conservation Awareness Event Reaches Thousands in Chitwan, Nepal
Kevin Bewick -- Field Liaison, South Africa
Kevin began assisting us in March 2010. He has been instrumental in the preparation and dissemination of our materials among key contacts in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent.
Thanks to a vast network of local connections, Kevin and his team keep us apprised of critical developments in the battle to protect South Africa's rhinos that would not otherwise be available to a US-based organization. While some of these developments are published on our blog, most are confidential and are part of the research services we provide to wildlife trade organizations.
Kevin also connected us to South African photographers for the book Murder, Myths & Medicine, and has provided us with his own photos for various uses.
Kevin is the head of Anti-Poaching Intelligence Group Southern Africa, a private initiative that supplies intelligence to private and government anti-poaching units. The Anti-Poaching Intelligence Group Southern Africa was formed in 2001 as an informer network in Limpopo Province, and later encompassed other South African provinces.
In 2009 -- when the first warnings of an increase in rhino poaching were detected -- the group expanded regionally into all Southern African Countries. The Intelligence Group partners with many local and International enforcement agencies.
We help Kevin and his network by promoting selected efforts on our social media platforms and by providing ad hoc communications support from our t-shirt sales.
How to connect with Saving Rhinos
The vision of Saving Rhinos is to raise public awareness about the illegal rhino horn trade, expose the truth behind the illegal rhino horn trade, and end the slaughter of rhinos.
Check out Speak Up - by increasing awareness, sharing knowledge, and inspiring others, we can work together to raise public awareness about the illegal trade in rhino horn.
Rhinos in the classroom: Learn more about Partnership for Rhino Conservation (PARC/Nepal), an education-driven community organization helping Greater One-Horned Rhinos in the Chitwan area of Nepal.
Needed: Accurate reporting on the rhino crisis by mainstream media
We need to teach people to stop thinking of rhino horn as a valuable commodity and start focusing on the facts. Rhino horn has no medicinal properties, no curative benefits, and no magical powers.
Learn more at Busting the Rhino Horn Myth with Science.