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&Beyond Celebrates World Rhino Day On 22 September

September 24, 2013 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

As the survival of the rhino continues to be threatened by the scourge of poaching in South Africa, luxury experiential travel company &Beyond is celebrating the success of a number of conservation initiatives aimed at saving the endangered species.

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 1.30.46 PMIn 2012 alone, South Africa lost a devastating 668 rhino to illegal poaching, which is a 49% increase from the previous year’s figure of 448. With two to three rhino killed every day, by the beginning of September 2013 the number already stood at 618 individuals lost.

“As part of our commitment to our core ethic of Care of the Land, Care of the Wildlife and Care of the People, &Beyond has made a significant contribution to the protection of rhino over the past 22 years. As the threat of poaching increases, we have not only stepped up the security initiatives at our reserves in South Africa but have looked for other ways to ensure the survival of this majestic species,” says Joss Kent, &Beyond CEO.

With neighbouring Botswana proven as a successful rhino habitat with a strong security and monitoring framework in place, one of the initiatives undertaken by &Beyond was the donation and translocation of six white rhino from South Africa to Botswana’s Okavango Delta.

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 1.31.20 PMWorking under the strictest security, the six rhino were safely transported to Botswana and held in an acclimatisation boma before being released in May. Collared and microchipped for research and monitoring purposes, the animals are tracked regularly by &Beyond’s research and anti-poaching teams. All six of the released animals appear to be establishing home ranges in their new habitat, with the areas frequented by four of the new arrivals overlapping with each other. The rhino have remained in the same pairs that they established while in the acclimatisation boma. The animals are healthy and are settling well into their new environment.

In a surprise development that delighted &Beyond’s translocation team, it has also been confirmed that one of the three female rhino is pregnant. She is expected to give birth in October or November.

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 1.31.28 PMWhile &Beyond believes that translocation is vital in securing the survival of endangered species, the company is also committed to working with the communities surrounding its reserves to combat poaching. Thanks to its policy of ensuring that its neighbours benefit from conservation, &Beyond has exceptionally strong relationships with these communities, which allows it to run education programmes about the preservation of wildlife.

To help raise awareness, &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve Conservation Manager, Simon Naylor, and students from the University of Pretoria’s Olienhout residence departed South Africa last night on a plane destined for Kathmandu, Nepal. The fearless team will undertake a grueling 14-day trek to the Everest base camp— all in the name of rhino conservation. Three climbers will sport full-bodied rhino costumes highlighting the fact that this climb will enable rhinos to roam freely. The aim of their Rhino Climb 2013 was to raise R100 000 ($10,000), which will be channeled to &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve via our partner, StopRhinoPoaching.com. All proceeds will help train and equip the 30 extra Working on Wildlife armed guards that are protecting Phinda’s rhinos from the threat of poaching.

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