With over 600 rhinoceroses killed since the start of the year, it is open season on rhinos in South Africa. The illegal killing spree of wildlife in Africa and the endemic slaughter of the rhino population in South Africa is undoing decades of conservations gains and undermines the continent’s biodiversity and ecological future. Valued at over $10 billion, wildlife trafficking is the fifth most lucrative illegal activity after the drug trade, human trafficking and counterfeiting amongst others (Global Financial Integrity Report).
As poaching gets more lucrative, it has graduated from an opportunistic crime to an organised criminal activity run by syndicates and terror groups. While rangers across the African savannah still outnumber the poachers, they continue to be poorly armed and grossly under equipped to deal with the dangers of poaching.
The Ichikowitz Family Foundation is focussing on balancing the war on poaching in an effort to preserve the continent's rich biodiversity by consolidating all its activities and working directly with the custodians of Africa’s wildlife heritage.
In 2012, the Foundation together with the South African National Parks (SANParks) launched a new aerial surveillance solution to save South Africa’s rhinos. The reconnaissance aircraft, The Seeker Seabird, was donated to SANParks by the Foundation.
The Ichikowitz Family Foundation remains committed to using its financial and human resources in its fight against poaching and protecting Africa’s vanishing wildlife..