South Africa conservationist Brett Barlow needed a robust security solution to protect Munu, a blind, South Western Black rhinoceros whose species is critically endangered.
Barlow deployed an all FLIR solution, comprising thermal cameras, visible cameras and an NVR, for around-the-clock monitoring, early detection and real-time response.
FLIR technology has played an instrumental role to protect Munu’s life and livelihood.
Throughout the 20th century, big-game hunters, settlers and poachers have decimated Africa’s black rhino population. In the early 1970s, there were approximately 65,000 black rhinos, and by 2018, that number was reduced to 5,630.
In 2020, there are three remaining subspecies of the black rhino—one of the most vulnerable being the South Western Black Rhinoceros, also known as Diceros bicornis bicornis, of which there are only 254 left in South Africa.
Munu, a 20-year-old blind male rhino, is one of these critically endangered species. When Munu was in danger, South Africa conservationist Brett Barlow stepped in to save Munu´s life. Barlow teamed up with FLIR Systems to use state-of-the-art thermal and visible security cameras to act as Munu’s eyes, detecting threats, increasing safety and enhancing his overall quality of life.
In 2019, rangers working at a South African National Park found a black rhino walking in circles and visibly disoriented. They knew they had to do something. After safely tranquilizing him, an ophthalmic surgeon confirmed that this rhino, today known as Munu, had suffered two detached retinas and was completely blind, likely as a result of disputes with other rhinos in the area.
As soon as he heard about the situation, leading South African conservationist Brett Barlow spoke with the South African National Park and offered to permanently house and protect Munu.
“Every rhino matters,” Barlow adamantly affirmed. “You wouldn´t put down a blind child, so why would you put down a blind rhino?”
Support from Local Donors
The South African National Park later transferred Munu to Barlow’s care. However, Barlow wasn’t the only one who wanted to help Munu. Adrian Gardiner, globally renowned conservationist famous for founding the Shamwari Game Reserve and the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve in South Africa, extended the invite for Munu to stay on one of his properties, the Mantis Founder’s Lodge.
Wasting no time at all, Barlow relocated Munu to the lodge knowing it would increase his quality of life. The property, spanning 850 hectares, is home to five white rhinos as well as other game including a zebra and a giraffe. The White Lion Foundation, in which Gardiner and Barlow are both executive board members, donated funds to construct Munu’s boma, comprising a secure covered boma and a five-hectare open grazing area.
Additional support came from a local Internet provider, who donated free Internet services for the project. American Humane, a non-profit organisation committed to ensuring the safety, welfare and well-being of animals, funded one year of feed for Munu. All donations for Munu go directly to the project with no administration costs deducted.
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