Jamie Joseph of Saving the Wild works tirelessly to take down rhino kingpin!

At last, accusations of corruption and deliberate delays in the trial against alleged KwaZulu-Natal rhino poaching kingpin Dumisani Gwala have led to calls for the case to be moved to the high court. Gwala – whose network was alleged to have been responsible for about 80% of all poached horn in the province – and co-accused Wiseman Makeba and Aubrey Dlamini are facing a total of 10 charges, most related to the illegal purchase and possession of rhino horn, and of resisting arrest. Read more from Jamie about her quest to bring down this notorious rhino king pin via her blog!

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The First Undercover Investigation into Rhino Horn Trafficking in China in Decades!

 

Over and Above Africa Advisory Board Member, Andrea Crosta, along with the amazing team at Elephant Action League (EAL) are proud to release GRINDING RHINO, a public report detailing another expansive and successful undercover investigative operation. In response to unprecedented growth in rhinoceros poaching rates in the past ten years, and enduring consumer demand for rhinoceros horn in both China and Vietnam, EAL commenced Operation Red Cloud in August 2016 and ended it in June 2017.Operation Red Cloud is the first undercover investigation into rhino horn trafficking in China in decades. This 11-month intelligence gathering and investigative operation was designed to expose and map the networks, the players and the means (or ‘modus operandi’) by which rhino horn is trafficked into China. Read the entire report by clicking on the post title!

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Over and Above Africa members doing great things!

Recently, Over and Above Africa member Tami P.,  hosted a group of friends to raise awareness and funds for Over and Above Africa, Rhino Horn Coffee, International Anti Poaching Foundation & others... and to knit blankets for baby rhinos! Well done Tami & thank you for being a voice for the voiceless!! Do you have any projects you're working on? Let us know and we'll spread the word!!! 

Joining Over and Above Africa as a family.

This past weekend, we took our cameras to follow up with the Folsom family who became Over and Above Africa members several months ago. We've been following their experience as they teach their daughter, Makai, about philanthropy through the Over and Above Africa platform. We'll be bringing you a short film to share their experience soon! Stay tuned. 

The Folsom family watching their donations at work on Over and Above Africa!

The Folsom family watching their donations at work on Over and Above Africa!

Top Anti-Poaching Cop Gets Railroaded by Superiors?

Always ready and willing to bring you the news from the ground as it's shared with us by those closest and most trusted to the sources - this particular one makes our blood boil.   

"Warrant officer JP van Zyl-Roux is facing an internal disciplinary hearing this week for allegedly failing to hand over a docket to anti-corruption investigators‚ having private firearms at work and bringing the force into disrepute."  Read the full article here

Jamie Joseph and JP work together tirelessly for conservation and wildlife protection.  More recently they've focused on identifying corruption and it seems they've hit a nerve.  THIS kind of persecution is often the result of such work.  When that work encroaches on potentially exposing dishonest individuals holding high ranking positions - they usually go all out to discredit, railroad, fire and eliminate the threat before it dirties their doorstep.  

While JP Van Zyl-Roux deals with the hand he has been dealt and navigates these accusations, our friends Jamie Joseph (SavingTheWild.org) and Elephant Action League have joined forces to back him and bolster this hand.  They will share with us ALL that transpires so we can share it with you, while they fight to clear his name.   We'll bring you more on this as it unravels of course, meanwhile, our collective thoughts are with JP Van Zyl-Roux and his family - he must feel very alone right now.

Exclusive Interview With EcoWarrior, Jamie Joseph

Exclusive Interview With EcoWarrior, Jamie Joseph

Last Thursday was the 1st Annual Fundraiser for Elephant Action League - CoFounded by Over and Above Africa's Advisory Board Member, Andrea Crosta.  Held in conjunction with Jamie Joseph's Save The Wild Foundation where Thomas Mangelsen's hypnotizing photography was auctioned off to a breathtaking $160,000 - all to fight corruption and illegal wildlife trafficking.  It was a huge success.  We were fortunate enough to convince Jamie Joseph to give Over and Above Africa's Kerry David an exclusive interview before she flew back to her native South Africa to fight the terrorists who are slaughtering her beloved rhino.  

Elephant Action League's 1st Fundraiser, Beverly Hills, CA June 1st!

Elephant Action League's 1st Fundraiser, Beverly Hills, CA June 1st!

We're so excited to support our Advisory Board Member, Andrea Crosta and his outstanding team (Gilda and Mark you know who you are!) as they launch their 1st Official Fundraiser for Elephant Action League and Wildleaks at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills tomorrow.  Here are all the details and we'll be there too so come and say hello! 

COCKTAIL RECEPTION and BENEFIT AUCTION

   The Montage

225 N Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA

Reception 6-8:30 pm

Auction 8:00 pm

RSVP

info@elephantleague.org 

Here's a recent report on their findings.

 

We're Co-Hosting A Fundraiser, with The Explorers' Club For Damien Mander

Join us on Sunday, June 11th from 2pm - 5pm in Studio City, CA - as we Co-Host a fundraiser with The Explorer's Club of California for Damien Mander and his non-profit, IAPF. 

Damien Mander, is a former Australian Royal Navy Clearance Diver and Special Operations military sniper turned anti-poaching crusader. Damien used his life savings to fund the start-up and running costs of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF) – an organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of wildlife in some of the world's most volatile regions.

A special presentation
DATE: Sunday, June 11, 2017
TIME: 2-5pm
LOCATION: Studio City, private residence. Address provided on ticket purchase
TICKETS: $25 per person ($15 for students) includes valet parking and vegan refreshments.

 

Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage Closes Its Doors

A very sad day today - to learn that Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage has decided to close its doors after the recent attack on its staff and rhinos, due to security issues.  Over and Above Africa sends everyone affected by this tragedy, our heartfelt condolences. 

Here's their press release: http://worldanimalnews.com/tragically-thula-thula-rhino-orphanage-shut-attacked-poachers/  

Tragically, The Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage Forced To Shut Down After It Was Attacked By Poachers

By Lauren Lewis 

May 2, 2017

Sadly, The Fundimvelo Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage (FTTRO) has shut its doors. The orphanage was unable to recover after an exceptionally brutal poaching attack in February, which left rhinos dead, caregivers severely beaten and one young woman sexually assaulted, The Rhino Orphanage issued a statement early Monday saying that it is in the process of closing down.

The news, that WAN learned from SAPeople, is bittersweet because while it is heartbreaking that Karen Trendler’s orphanage will close, we take some solace knowing that the remaining rhinos, along with their caretakers, will stay together in safer surroundings.

“Our supporters made donations in good faith to support the care of rhino orphans and we will ensure that their donations are still used for that purpose,” said Yvette Taylor from Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization (LAEO), which manages the facility.

“The animals have now all been moved together with their handlers to ensure continuity of care and all the rhino calves, as well as Charlie, the hippo, are doing well and have settled in their new surroundings,” she assured.

FTTRO has reportedly “made arrangements for the remainder of their donated funds to be channeled to the facilities who have taken over the care of the rhino calves.”

In the aftermath of the appalling attack, according to SAPeople, the focus of management was “on the immediate safety of the staff, volunteers and remaining animals on site, as well as providing support for the police and security experts investigating the incident.”

To keep the remaining rhinos and staff safe, LAEO directors moved them to a different location; also giving them the opportunity to recover from the trauma that was experienced by everyone. During this time, management conducted a series of independent security assessments and considered the findings of the criminal investigation.

“It is Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization’s responsibility to ensure that we meticulously weigh up all the factors of the investigation and security reports,” said Taylor at the time. “Our focus is ensuring that the facility is safe for both people and animals, managed according to best practice animal rehabilitation protocols, and is sustainable.”

Unfortunately, after reviewing the results of the reports and acknowledging the potential for ongoing and critical security challenges, as well as consulting with security experts, anti-poaching professionals and senior police officers, the LAEO Board of Directors decided it was time to permanently close the orphanage that had saved so many rhinos over the years.

According to the decision-makers, the “additional cost to adequately secure the facility in the long-term proved prohibitive and impacted on the sustainability of the facility.”

The horrific events that transpired on the evening of February 20th, 2017, when five criminals descended upon the once tranquil rhino sanctuary, was devastatingly the beginning of the end for the orphanage.

Perhaps this is the extreme wake-up call needed for everyone to understand how dangerous, unruly and catastrophic the rhino poaching industry in South Africa is; and that serious actions must be taken to end it once and for all!

Andrea Crosta - O&AA Advisory Board Member

We are thrilled to share our Board Member, Andrea Crosta's recent conversation with the EarthTalk audience (similar to TedTalks)  

Andrea and his team work on the intelligence side of anti-poaching.  It's not only vital but effective.  They recently brought down a long time kingpin and his syndicate which hit the news stands in Asia and here in the US which we shared earlier last week.  For more about our friend and advisory board member, Andrea Crosta - click on the link below!

 Andrea's recent EarthTalk  

Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage - Attack

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Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage - Attack

This was a particularly heinous act where 8 heavily armed men attacked the staff and volunteers at Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage in the Kwa-Zulu-Natel region, South Africa.  They tied up and beat the staff and raped a female volunteer before killing two of the rhino babies who were soon to be released back into the wild after a successful rehabilitation by Thula Thula.   Just to poach their horns.  The double tragedy was that these two rhino babies had been victims of a poaching incident where their mothers were killed by poachers.  Rhino babies and elephant calves NEED their mothers longer than most animal offspring.  

We have friends in Africa who have reported back to us that an international intelligence unit has been called in to find these criminals and bring them to justice.  In the mean time, we are raising funds for the medical costs, vet's bills, counseling that will be needed and most importantly, stronger security and safety measures. 

Here's the link to our Go Fund Me campaign please share with your friends and families as the more we raise, the faster their recovery needs will be met. 

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