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Saving Black Rhinos in Namibia

A black rhino spotted by an IRDNC Rhino Ranger in Namibia. Photo by IRDNC

The Houston Zoo is proud to partner with Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC) to protect critically endangered black rhinos in Namibia. Poaching is still one of the biggest threats to rhinos and IRDNC’s Rhino Ranger program works to monitor and protect these amazing animals with 17 Rangers working across six conservancies in Namibia.

Community Rhino Rangers in the field spotting rhinos. Photo by IRDNC

Through Houston Zoo’s support, we help provide food for Rhino Rangers during anti-poaching patrols. We outfit Rangers with quality uniforms including strong hiking boots, supplies, and camping gear such as tents and bedrolls for multi-night patrols in the African bush. And we equip Rangers with state-of-the-art rhino monitoring tools including digital zoom cameras, GPS units, and binoculars.

IRDNC Team Lead with a Rhino Ranger in the field. Photo by IRDNC

Every time you visit the Zoo to see our southern white rhinos, you’re helping save rhinos in the wild. A portion of each Zoo membership and admission goes toward helping the Zoo’s partners around the world, like IRDNC. We are proud to help provide Rhino Rangers with the tools they need to keep rhinos, as well as other animals in the region like lions, elephants, giraffes, and zebras, safe from harm.

In 2022, IRDNC’s 17 Rhino Rangers logged a record high number of patrol days and miles covered. As a result, there have been no rhino poaching incidents within IRDNC’s patrol area over the last three years.

Together, IRDNC and Houston Zoo are saving rhinos in the wild.