STATEMENT: Attack on Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage

STATEMENT: Attack on Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage
Wednesday, 22 February, 2017
Cape Town, South Africa

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) condemns the Monday night attack on the Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage in South Africa, during which staff were beaten and brutalized, and at least one rhino calf killed while another had to be euthanized due to the extent of its wounds.

Dr Joseph Okori, Regional Director Southern Africa, said the attack on the orphanage, its staff and care givers, was appalling and tragic.

“This attack on a facility that provides sanctuary to rhino calves, most of which have already endured the trauma of seeing their mothers killed by poachers, is indicative of just how far criminals are prepared to go in the pursuit of rhino horn,” said Okori.

“The fact that they chose a soft target like Thula Thula, where the staff give tirelessly in trying to nurse the smallest victims of the scourge of rhino poaching, makes it doubly appalling.”

Okori said it was incumbent on all stake holders affected by rhino poaching and illegal trade of horn – be they source or consumer countries – to commit to greater engagement, to put a stop to the killing.

“Events such as those on Monday night are simply unacceptable, and cannot be allowed to happen again,” he said.

Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage is located in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa.

About IFAW

Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Photos are available at

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