Rangers Paul and Sboniso set off today on their 1700km Right for Rhinos walk with the goal of...
"raising public awareness and funds to fight the poachers that have killed over 500 South African rhinos in the past two years."
Veteran ranger Paul and former ranger Sboniso will be visiting schools along their route through South Africa to talk about the importance of rhino conservation helping to educate youth about the plight of this endangered species.
The Rights for Rhinos campaign walk is a heart-felt response to increased illegal rhino poaching in South Africa with rhino killings having risen from 122 in 2009 to 333 in 2010.
Earlier this month the Rights for Rhinos duo were hosted by Dr Ian Player, renowned conservationist and environmental statesman. One of his many achievements Dr Player was the driving force behind Operation Rhino which saved white rhinos from extinction. Player has showed his support for the Rights for Rhinos campaign according to the Environment News Service report, saying:
“It is imperative that the plight of these animals is brought into the spotlight, and the Rights for Rhinos walk will achieve this.”
"The world has to be educated about the plight of the rhino and how important it is for mankind to be a part of conservation efforts to save these beautiful animals," says Jennings.
Today Paul's long-term dream of walking across the country in support of rhino conservation and education is becoming a reality. Paul has worked in nature conservation for over two decades having spent many years working in anti-paoching and 7 years as the rhino capture officer for Natal Parks Board's Game Capture Unit. During Paul's time working to relocate rhinos and other species in Natal he formed a strong bond with these critically endangered mammals witnessing the immense cruelty of the rhino poaching trade first-hand. On News Africa Paul says,
"Rhino are very close to my heart" and "I want to give back to these majestic creatures that are at the mercy of callous killers."
Former ranger Sboniso is working as a public relations specialist for a private anti-poaching unit that formed the Hoedspruit Rhino Watch patrolling the Manyeleti Reserve for poachers. The plight of the rhino was really driven home for Sboniso earlier this year when he watched his first rhino autopsy, described by him as a "heart-wrenching" experience. The Rights for Rhinos website says his experience at the rhino autopsy:
"made him realize that he wants to reach as many people as possible to make them understand how pointless rhino killings are and how many rhinos are still paying the price."
Yesterday Nissan South Africa officially handed over a NP300 Hardbody back-up vehicle in support of the Rights for Rhinos campaign walk, says ABR. Adidas is providing the rhino conservation activists with shoes and clothing and RO3 Oasis is sponsoring them with super oxygenated water for their campaign walk, says News Africa.
All funds donated to the Rights for Rhinos cause will be managed by the Game Rangers Association of South Africa.
- Follow Rights For Rhinos on Twitter
- Join Rights for Rhinos on Facebook
- Read more on Environment News Service
- Visit the Rights for Rhinos Campaign website
"We need to get more youth involved in raising awareness about what's happening to our common heritage" (Sboniso Phakathi).