Hensoldt celebrates three years of protecting world’s largest rhino conservancy


Hensoldt South Africa has celebrated three years of protecting the world’s largest rhino conservancy with zero poaching incidents, with the company’s technologies keeping 1 800 rhinos safe.

The company designed and installed a surveillance and security system on the farm and since then, not one animal has been lost to poaching, Hensoldt South Africa said in a statement on 13 March. “Before that, we had poaching every month, sometimes every week,” said John Hume, owner of Buffalo Dream Ranch.

In 2017, Buffalo Dream Ranch, the world’s largest rhino farm, started a partnership with Hensoldt to secure 8 000 hectares of land, where some 1 800 rhinos now live peacefully. The specially developed system combines a number of sensors, including optical and radar sensors, to monitor the rhinos, farm and surrounding area. Data from these sensors are fused using advanced analytics at a command and control centre to provide complete situational awareness and early-warning of potential poachers approaching the area. The radar can pick up potential threats and cameras then zoom in for a closer look. Everything is integrated into one system that can be mounted on a trailer.

In combination with existing physical barriers and a team of security personnel, the system augments the total security approach to create a surveillance solution, with technology that is always on guard, never fatigues and which cannot be compromised, according to Hensoldt South Africa. “We are for the first time in years feeling confident, with Hensoldt, of perfecting the protection of our rhino,” said Hume.

“We are honoured to be part of important initiatives such as the conservation of our wildlife and we aim to expand our efforts,” said Hennie Venter, Chief Executive of the Hensoldt South Africa GEW business unit. The know-how acquired through these projects can be applied for protecting other wildlife and national parks to safe-keep endangered species such as lions, elephants and even abalone.

Hensoldt South Africa said that in recent years, animals such as rhinos have been under increased pressure due to rising poaching levels, threatening the future of these animals. South Africa holds nearly 80% of the world’s rhinos and has been hit the hardest by poaching, with more than 1 000 rhinos killed each year between 2013 and 2017. Consequently, Hensoldt responded to this threat and is now combining advanced intelligence, radar and optical surveillance systems with physical security for high-end wildlife protection, augmenting its products designed to protect armed forces, civilians, assets and borders.