Today in honour of World Rhino Day, we would like to acknowledge Gondwana’s Head of Security Theo Kluits who joined Gondwana Game Reserve on 1st March 2009. With pride, excitement and huge compassion he took up the challenge of looking after the safety of all of our treasured assets on the reserve including the reserve’s rhino population. Theo has set up valuable communication structures with neighbouring farmers, South African police, aviation groups, CAA and staff members. Due to these relationships there has thankfully been no poaching incidents reported in his tenure on the reserve. The increase of poaching incidents in the last 3 years and low rate of conviction in courts, left Gondwana’s security with little choice but to sharpen our skills and awareness. Our Security camera monitoring system has been huge advantage, even providing positive evidence to the South African Police in a criminal investigation. All our neighbors see us as a role model and respond very positively by supporting us with security upgrades and awareness on their sides. Gondwana’s security now includes a passionate and dedicated Anti Poaching Unit that commits itself to protecting the reserve’s rhino through visible patrolling, surveillance, access control and traffic monitoring. They ensure the best possible safekeeping of our precious wildlife and are equipped with the best tools to handle any potential threat including drone usage to ensure air to ground coverage when needed.
Gondwana’s Conservation Foundation has established the Rainbow Rhino Initiative which is aimed at combating rhino poaching on the reserve through skills and technology development. The project has a 10 year plan of introducing 165 individual rhino into reserves across Africa and 108 trained anti-poaching soldiers. An APU camp and training facility is being established to be opened later this year. This will ensure that we take the lead in the Western Cape to train new recruits to be employed in grey areas (Game reserves without proper protection in place).
We would like to also acknowledge the hard working individuals in our APU including team manager Johan Troskie. Mr Troskie came on board with 34 years’ exprience in this field.
APU Officer Christo Gordon joined the team with 20 years’ experience in this field.
APU Officer Armand Tas joined the team with 30 years’ experience in this field.
APU Officer Victor van Staden joined the team with 3 years’ experience in this field.
APU Officer Jeandre Woest is the youngest member on the team and shows huge potential to be a good leader in the future.
Every single day is rhino day for Gondwana’s Security and their job and mission give them great pleasure.