Zoological Society of London: saving rhinos with the Pi

We’ve been talking a bit about London Zoo’s efforts with the camera board to set affordable camera traps in Kenya, looking not only for wild animals, but also for poachers. This is incredibly important work; rhinos, elephants and other terribly endangered animals are targeted for their body parts, which fetch large sums in some markets.

ZSL rhino camera with Camera Module

The camera trap using our Camera Module

This project is one of several up for a £500,000 grant from Google, but to get that grant, they need your help: please go and vote for them this evening on the Google Global Impact Challenge website.

You’ve only got a few hours left to vote, so please get clicking!


gaz99 avatar


Jason Bramwell avatar

Done mine too

Alasdair Davies avatar

Thanks one and all – it ends at midnight tonight. The Pi really could save the rhino from extinction. Add that to the list of its amazing uses!

Tyler Ward avatar

Another interesting use of raspberrypis for helping rhino conservation is Erica the rhino, part of Marwell Zoo‘s GoRhinos campaign. http://www.ericatherhino.org/

SteveDee avatar

Just tickled Erica’s chin at Southampton Uni Open Day….amazing.
She’s due for release next weekend!

Nico avatar

See this article on the realities of rhino poaching in South Africa:

Rhino poaching in SA worse than ever, in spite of new technology | News | Environment | Mail & Guardian


Alasdair Davies avatar

Hi Nico,

Thanks for the article reference.

The article states “In a previous interview with the Mail & Guardian in the park, ranger Rodney Landela said when the vegetation was high it was nearly impossible to spot poachers.”

Our intention is to provide a solution to combat this through the placement of cameras to snap and report the movement of poachers (and rhinos) regardless of the vegetation type / density, as drones along need support on the ground.

We hope that by combining technologies to monitor from the ground and the air we can provide the protection and monitoring needed to protect the rhino.

Kind regards,

Technical Advisor

Nico avatar

Hi Alasdair,

The ZSL effort is much appreciated! If it could prevent the slaughter of a single rhino it will already have paid off!

I’m living in South Africa, and there is hardly a day without news reports of more rhino poaching.

The article reference is an example for all – hopefully to realise the magnitude of the problem.


Alasdair Davies avatar

Congratulations everyone! We WON the public vote and have been award £500,000 from Google in the Google Global Impact Challenge.

Thank you to everyone that voted. More info here on what’s happening next:


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