White and Black Rhino, Cheetah, African wild Dog, why are they endangered, and how can we save them???

The three animals listed above are high on our list on endangered African wildlife that we have to protect or else we face the distinct possibility of losing them forever.

We cannot afford to wait any longer for governments, who continually procrastinate, to make decisions regarding the protection of these species.

Their lives are in our hands. If we don't do something now we WILL lose them. We need to create awareness regarding the plight of these animals. We need to ensure their survival.


African Lion
(Panthera Leo)

The African Lion is the second largest of the cat species (only the tiger is larger), males weigh in at +- 230kgs, with females weighing +- 150kgs. They have a large variety of prey, ranging from elephant to warthogs, and even hares, birds and reptiles. They are the only social member of the cat family, forming family groups known as prides consisting of 5 to 20+ animals.

Prides are very territorial, and male lions use scent markings and their powerful roar (which can be heard from up to 5miles away) to identify their territory. The females do most of the hunting which is carried out mainly nocturnally, stalking and ambushing their prey. There is no specific “mating season “ and 2-4 cubs are born after a gestation period of 110 days. Young cubs are vulnerable to predation by leopards, jackals and hyena, and as few as 20% will survive their first year. Surviving cubs will remain with their mother for at least two years.

Historically lions roamed from Greece, through the Middle East and into northern India. Today, however, they are found only in Africa. Numbers have declined by at least half have since the 1950s. Distemper outbreaks in 1994 and 2001, caused by severe drought, resulted in large losses. Tick borne diseases carried by the drought weakened prey, which the lions then consumed, rendering the lions unable to cope with the canine distemper virus.

It is suspected that droughts, such as occurred in 1994 and 2001, will become more common place as the result of global climate change. Over population and human encroachment have also had a significant effect on the lion population.


(Acinonyx jubatus)

The cheetah is the fastest land animal in the world, reaching speeds in excess of 100kph. They are easily distinguished from other large cats by their long-legged slender bodies, spotted coats, small head and ears and distinctive black stripes running from the inner corner of the eye to the side of the nose.

Their diet consists of mainly gazelles, impala, and smaller antelope. Cheetah were originally found mainly throughout Africa and Asia, but are now found in isolated numbers in central and south western Africa, with a small (decreasing) number in Iran. In 1900, 100,000 cheetah roamed their historic range. Today, fewer than 12,000 (some estimate below 9,000) remain in Africa.

As with wild dogs, the biggest threat to these animals is habitat loss, due to human encroachment. Many are also lost to predation by lion and hyena. With numbers reducing, infant mortality, due to inbreeding defects, is also taking its toll. Education and awareness to the plight of these animals is essential to their survival.

African Wildlife Fund

Foundation For African Wildlife Conservation


Vision and Objectives

2016 has come and gone, and yet again, it has been another year of devastation for our wildlife. A total of 995 rhino were poached in South Africa up to 20 Nov.. This represents a drop in poaching of +- 15% year on year, but is this a result of interventions, or is this because population numbers have dropped, making them harder to find? We just don't know. To date, in 2017, an estimated 455 rhino have died. Another alarming statistic is that Zimbabwe reported more rhino deaths than births in 2016. Namibia to showed a dramatic increase in poaching incidents for 2016. Estimated poaching related deaths, in South Africa, are still around 3 animals per day. We hear of poisoning in Kruger National Park, resulting in the deaths of over 100 endangered vultures, and two lions. When will this greed stop??  Having noted this, we applaud our brave rangers who face deadly poaching incidents on a daily basis. They really need our support and encouragement. Elephant are still being poached at a rate of 25000 - 30000 per year throughout Africa. It is only a matter of time before South Africa is affected.

Are we reaching the tipping point? The answer is, YES, we're not far off at all. The truth is,  that without human intervention, these animals, along with many other species, WILL CEASE TO EXIST. How will we explain their extinction to future generation? Humans are THE most ruthless killers in our planets history. Only WE can stop the rot!! In an ironic way the numerous scenes of injured poaching survivors, both adults and infants, have brought the plight of these animals to many who were ignorant of what was happening. We can only hope that their deaths and horrific injuries, will only serve to provide the glue that will holds us together in preventing the demise of theirs and many other species persecuted by man.

We, at PAWS, believe that the only way we are going to protect the well being of Africa's wildlife is to create awareness and educate our population, as well as the rest of the world, as to what is actually happening with Africa's wildlife, and then mobilising them to take action, and force the governments to implement task teams to track down the offenders and, once caught, ensure that harsh penalties are imposed. We also aim to create awareness to the fact that South Africa is by far the largest contributor to wildlife trophy exports ( 80% ), although we are hoping that, with the banning of transportation of " trophies " by many airlines, these figures will improve. White rhino are being "legally " killed by so called hunters. With the only item of any concern being the export of the horn as a " trophy ". These horns inevitably find their way onto the black market, where huge prices further fuel the poaching situation we find ourselves in. Wildlife smuggling is second only to drug trafficking, with the black market price of rhino horn, now exceeding cocaine, heroin, gold and platinum.. The call for legalising the sale of rhino horn only proves that there is significant commercial interest by a few greedy and immoral individuals. The key to ending the slaughter of our rhino is end demand of rhino horn in China, Vietnam and other Asian/Middle East countries

The last four years has seen a significant increase in the demand for rhino horn in particular. In 2009, 122 were killed, in 2010, 333 / 2011, 448 / 2012, 668 / 2013, 1004 /  2014, 1215, 2015, 1175 and 2016 +- 1000 rhino were poached. We cannot allow this to continue.



In 2016 +- 1000 rhino,  that we know of, were lost to poaching in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia, an average of 2.7 animals PER DAY. Add to this the approximately 140 that have been legally " hunted " ( yes, it is still legal to hunt White Rhino in South Africa ) and those that are poached but never found, we have lost close to 1200 animals in 2014, Over 5500 in the last six years.  The Kruger National Park ( KNP )  has suffered the highest number of casualties. Sanparks recently announced the removal of 500 animals from KNP " for their own protection ".  Add to this, the estimated 25 000 elephant that are being slaughtered in Africa, annually,  for their ivory, and we can clearly see the scale of the problem which we are facing. If it were not for " on the ground  anti-poaching initiatives, one can only imagine what the figures would be. We have now reached the stage where rhino are no longer dying of old age and it is a matter of time until elephant are included in this statistic. Rhino were brought back from the brink of extinction once. They may not survive the second time! 


Whilst politicians and conservation bodies hold meeting after meeting to discuss legalising trade in rhino horn and ivory, animals continue to die at unprecedented rates. Memorandums of Understanding ( MoU ) signed between governments are not worth the paper they are written on and can only be regarded as a token gesture. If these Asian governments were really concerned, they would be assisting in funding the anti-poaching measures and educational activities that are required to protect our wildlife against the greed of their citizens. IN FACT. I CHALLENGE THESE COUNTRIES TO COME FORWARD AND SHOW THAT THEY REALLY ARE TRING TO STOP THIS SCOURGE. NOT BY SIGNING A PIECE OF PAPER, BUT BY ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT. Although not condoning drug trafficking, our citizens are sentenced to lengthy jail terms, if not death, for drug trafficking in Asian countries and yet they allow the wanton slaughter of our wildlife to satisfy their misguided beliefs. A question often asked is " What would happen if we, as African citizens, were caught killing a panda in China? ". I'll leave the answer, to that question, to your imagination.

Thousands of years of tradition may never be changed and until a solution is found to reducing the demand of rhino horn and ivory, our rhino and elephant will continue to die. Until we find a solution to the cause, we need to concentrate our efforts in reducing the effect. Hundreds of dedicated conservationists and game rangers spend day after day, night after night in wind, rain, cold and heat in an effort to protect the animals,  that they clearly love and that are a major part of our African heritage, from the greed of man. What would Africa be without its wildlife? If we all do our bit, whether financially,  giving of our time or merely passing on the value of our heritage, through education, to our children and grandchildren, we can ensure the survival of these magnificent creatures.  WE ARE PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THAT WE HAVE TEAMED UP WITH THE HOEDSPRUIT ENDANGERED SPECIES CENTRE TO ASSIST THEM WITH FUNDRAISING AND AWARENESS. 


Our aim then is to embark on an all out campaign, through school education programs, the media and by any other means available, to create a passion within our society to protect our heritage.

Your contributions to this cause, no matter how small are heartfelt.

2017 will see PAWS supporting other endangered species including the African Wild Dog and the Cheetah. We will continue to support the anti-poaching initiatives, but we feel that there are many others contributing here, and that we need to focus our attention on these two species in particular.

Your contributions to this cause, no matter how small, are heartfelt.





Contact : Gavin De Lange ( Founder )

Cell : 076 801 6888

Mail : paws4africa@gmail.com

Web : www.pawafricawildlifefunds.co.za



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