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Environmental organizations, national parks, and wildlife shelters in Africa are gearing up for the worst. The borders are closed, there are no tourists, which means that most of the projects for the conservation of rare and endangered species of animals were left without money, Izvestia reports.
The rhinoceros shelter in the southern African province of Limpopo remained virtually without personnel due to the pandemic.
Mostly foreigners worked here, changing every three months, but because of the coronavirus their visas were canceled. Four full-time employees had to withstand 72-hour shifts, sleeping only 2-3 hours per night.
Caring for little orphaned rhinos is hard work. They demand milk at any time of the day or night and scream loudly, calling on the mother, who was killed before their eyes by poachers.
The founder and shelter manager, 66-year-old retired teacher, Arri van Deventer, had to look for local volunteers through social networks.
Of the several hundred who responded, he chose only two. The location of such shelters is kept secret in order to avoid attacks by poachers. Mokgopong facility has been attacked twice already.
Mapimpi was orphaned when he was seven days old. Poachers killed his mother to cut off the horn, which is used as medicine and for jewelry.
His body was very dehydrated, his skin was dry, he tried to eat sand. The baby was fed milk mixture from a bottle. At the age of five, like other grown rhinos, he will be released into the wild.
Dozens of visitors usually gathered to feed an orphan elephant from a bottle in a David Sheldrick shelter near Kenyan Nairobi.
Now he eats alone: on March 15, the institution was closed, after the country revealed the first case of coronavirus.
The shelter lives on online donations and from ticket sales. Before the pandemic, up to 500 people visited its territory daily, each paying about $ 5 for entry.
Now you can attend the elephant calf feeding procedure or watch how he sleeps, only online. On social media, live broadcasts are at 11:00 and 17:00 local time.
Elephant calves in East Africa very often remain orphaned by poachers. The smallest most often die without breast milk.
The David Sheldrick Foundation has special teams to combat poachers and several mobile veterinary teams that patrol the area from air and land. These events were organized thanks to tourists and donnors.
According to the UN, last year Africa was visited by about 70 million tourists. In order to survive in a pandemic, reserves, shelters, national parks throughout Africa suspend all third-party projects, stop building infrastructure and cut staff salaries