The mounted APU project is just one faction of a comprehensive plan that is coming together to protect rhino in the Eastern cape area of South Africa. What is now known as the African Rhino Conservation Collaborative (www.arcc.org.za) is a group of eleven local wildlife preserve owners with a vested interest in protecting their rhino and all wildlife on their lands from the increasing poaching pressure. Their pillars are closely modeled after the IUCN suggestions for the poaching crisis. Protection, Awareness, Community, Rhino management and Law Enforcement. The mounted horse unit will fall under the protection pillar and may well be able to branch over into the community pillar as well in the future.
GCF director Roxane Losey became involved with this project after meeting Dr. William Fowlds in California during a speaking engagement for GCF. Being a life time equestrienne and exotic animal keeper fueled an idea to help kick start the mounted horse aspect that was currently in it’s infancy. Roxane has arrived in South Africa for a six-week tenure to help establish infrastructure plans, brain storm ideas to get the unit off the ground and use her equestrian background to help train and determine suitable APU horses as well as show locals involved with the project some best practices of horse training. One of Roxane’s goals even before her arrival in Africa was to raise funds to sponsor the upkeep for an APU horse for a year. After a successful World Rhino Day fundraiser, GCF’s goal to support a horse for the mounted APU project is well on its way but unfortunately, we are not there yet. GCF has been doing frequent updates from the field via social media outlets so interested parties may follow along on the sometimes-rocky path of getting this unit up and running and show firsthand some of the challenges of protecting our iconic African species.
Roxane has found two horses that appear to be suitable candidates for further assessment which would include gun, obstacle and dangerous animal training. Roxane and Dr. Fowlds are consistently discussing how GCF may realistically support getting an APU horse into the field in the near future for a pilot program and what the over all financial burden will be. If we can get the pilot horse into the field in a timely and useful manner the project is bound to grow and gather support
If you are interested in donating directly to this project you can click the link below.