Baby rhinos and elephants to get some Nova Scotian love

Middle Sackville woman working with Blankets For Baby Rhinos initiative to help African animals on the road to recovery.


Published on March 15, 2017

rhinoblankets

© Thula Thula Wildlife Orphanage

It’s a long way from Nova Scotia to South Africa, but Nadine Ferguson is doing her part to help baby rhinos and elephants orphaned by poachers.

The Middle Sackville resident recently became involved with grassroots organization Blankets for Baby Rhinos. The international initiative encourages people to donate blankets for orphaned baby rhinos and elephants.

Ferguson said although it has only been a few days since she put the call out on social media, offers are already coming in from people interested in knitting, crocheting or sewing blankets in addition to donating supplies or funds.

I can’t be in Africa on the ground stopping poachers, but the babies that are orphaned by their moms being poached are often distressed and need some warmth and comfort. Nadine Ferguson

“There really isn’t a main coordinator for Canada, and I said I certainly don’t mind and have fallen into this role the last few days,” she explained.

“I can’t be in Africa on the ground stopping poachers, but the babies that are orphaned by their moms being poached are often distressed and need some warmth and comfort. The blankets are made all over the world and they’re transported to South Africa through various networks.”

Freight company Western Logistics has agreed to transport the blankets for free from Halifax to Toronto, where they’ll be flown to the Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage in South Africa. Some blankets may also make their way to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya.

Ferguson hopes to be able to start sending blankets to Africa next month.

“I’ll take blankets from any of the Atlantic provinces and central Canada if necessary and work on getting them here and then to Toronto,” she said.

Volunteers knit or crochet full blankets or 8x8 inch squares that can be made into larger blankets. Ferguson encourages anyone interested to contact her at nadineferguson@me.com .

“No matter how big or small any contribution is welcomed. We’re also looking for anybody with leftover yarn or knitting supplies that they don’t want,” she said.

A lifelong animal lover who also volunteers with Freedom Drivers and other local animal welfare initiatives, Ferguson said it’s important to lend a hand wherever it’s needed.

“I think our hearts should be big enough to help them all, and if we don’t do something about the rhinos and elephants, there won’t be any left,” she said.

“The support I’ve had so far is overwhelming and I’m very thrilled to be a part of this.”