SOS Rhino is a non-profit, international foundation dedicated to
preserving the five rhinoceros species in their natural habitats.
Our conservation programs combine research, education, marketing
and advocacy, all working collectively to achieve sustainable results.
diverse stakeholder support, SOS Rhino develops and funds rhino
conservation and awareness programs appropriate to individual
countries, providing these countries with the knowledge and tools
to build lasting rhino conservation.
It is our goal to secure a
place for this ancient animal in tomorrow’s
Our broad approach to conservation evolved
from over 20 years of experience supporting and creating various
rhino conservation programs.
These programs include technical assistance and training, the funding
of research on medical, nutritional and reproductive problems,
building of cage-restraint systems, consulting on care and management
in captivity and the wild, as well as creating multi-media presentations
for education and awareness. We apply this diverse range of expertise
to our primary focus, field-based operations.
Our field programs
apply methods that directly build on the capacity of countries
to conserve by raising local awareness and assisting
protection of habitat and animals. We employ and train local personnel
who understand the situation, and can effectively respond to the
issues. We garner support from many sectors including local government,
business, academic and cultural interests to create a sustainable
conservation program in countries with rhinos. The organization’s
administrative costs are endowed allowing 100% of contributions
donated to directly support targeted programs.
When work began
with the rhinos, minimal reproductive information was available.
Dr. Schaffer, founder and president of SOS Rhino,
along with researchers associated with the organization, furthered
the understanding of reproduction of four out of the five species
of rhinoceros. Our technical expertise led to the first captive
bred born Sumatran rhino birth in 112 years at the Cincinnati Zoo
Presently, one of our major programs is helping to save the
last population of rhinos on the island of Borneo, the most endangered
of the species, the Sumatran rhino. Because of the ongoing threat
of shrinking natural habitats and constant pressure from poaching,
the population continues to be in jeopardy. We immediately responded
to the request of the Malaysian government’s Sabah Wildlife
Department to assist their Rhino Protection Units (RPU) and evaluate
the fertility potential within their captive animals. We are fostering
support from villages and plantation owners surrounding the rhino
reserve by instituting ecotourism. We are alerting the public to
this rhino’s crisis through national and international educational
programs and events such as sports challenges, exhibits and televised
public service announcements. We established a local affiliate
non-profit that is generating local support and understanding.
of fewer than 300 Sumatran rhinos remaining, immediate action on
this rhino is critical.
SOS Rhino research programs have been funded
by the MacArthur Foundation, the Institute of Museum Services,
the Milwaukee County Zoo and
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife. Our researchers are consultants for
institutions and governments in the United States and around
the world, including such countries as Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal,
India, and Australia.
SOS Rhino is affiliated with numerous professional
organizations such as Taxonomic Advisory Group for Rhinos (TAG),
Specialist Group (AsRSG), American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG) of the International
Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Wildlife
To develop and support in-situ conservation programs.
awareness of the plight of the species through national and
international educational programs and events.
To foster wildlife
appreciation in countries with rhinos by providing higher education
and training of personnel.
To promote agents of conservation by
providing volunteer and ecotour opportunities.
To exchange information
resources and ideas with professional associations, governmental
and non-governmental organizations.
To fund research on problems
of the five species of rhinoceros.