Founded On The Tragedy That Unfolded On 16 November 2010
Chipembere Rhino Foundation
After witnessing the senseless slaughter of their two Rhino breeding bulls in 2010, Brent and Chantelle Cook, owners of HillsNek Safari Camp in South Africa decided to step up their conservation efforts.
Along with their business partners, Paul & Debbie Naudé and Derek Cook, the Chipembere Rhino Foundation was established in 2010. Their stellar efforts were later reinforced with the addition of renowned wildlife veterinarian, Dr. William Fowlds, as a trustee of the foundation after a third Rhino they owned was poached in 2011. To ensure the suffering and senseless slaughter of Chippy, Isipho and Geza was not in vain, the Chipembere Rhino Foundation (CRF),a local registered non-profit and public benefit organisation, was established in 2010 to protect and preserve the diminishing number of Rhino in Southern Africa. With the assistance of an amazing team of volunteers, the technical and practical experience acquired by the trustees over the past 10 years, as well as our partnerships with Rhino custodians and the support from donors, we have been able to make a significant contribution to the efforts to protect and preserve our heritage.
Gone but never Forgotten
“Chipembere” means “rhinoceros” in Shona, an African language, and this name is quite fitting in that the main breeding bull that was poached was known as “Chippy”.
The other poached bull, Isipho, meaning “gift” in Xhosa, an African language was indeed a gift to the reserve. His mother was re-located to the reserve and unbeknown to us was pregnant. The birth of “Isipho” took us all by surprise. Isipho grew into a beautiful and proud Rhino and would have contributed significantly as a breeding bull.
Geza” meaning “naughty one” in Xhosa, another Rhino bull was symbolic in being the first birth on Amakhala. Geza was later sold on with other similar aged Rhino to establish another breeding nucleus at a neighbouring reserve. Geza was barbarically poached in February 2011 and found staggering around alive! An account of this horrific incident is recorded by CRF trustee Dr. William Fowlds in his publication “Poached” and this incident forever committed Dr. Fowlds life to the Rhino. These Rhino are sorely missed by all who had the pleasure in sharing in their lives and the incredible honour of appreciating their magnificence in a pristine natural habitat. They along with all Rhino are symbols of South Africa’s greatest conservation success stories.