With the world’s rhino species increasingly threatened by the rapidly growing scourge of poaching, World Rhino Day provides the ideal opportunity for companies such as luxury experiential travel provider &Beyond to celebrate the steps taken to protect these iconic animals.
First initiated by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) South Africa in 2010, World Rhino Day has since grown into a global phenomenon that has united NGOs, wildlife organisations, businesses and concerned individuals from around the world by encouraging them to create fundraising events for the species on 22 September each year.
&Beyond, which boasts 24 years of proud successes in rhino conservation, has thrown its weight firmly behind this day, designed to draw global attention to the real threat of extinction faced by the species. The company’s past involvement in rhino conservation includes the creation of a vital new habitat for white rhino with the launch of &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in 1991, with the reserve later becoming a pilot property for the Black Rhino Range Expansion Project. &Beyond Phinda is a founding member of Project Rhino KwaZulu-Natal, which provides security measures to protect rhino on many private reserves, and the company is well aware of the challenges posed by well financed and organised poaching networks.
Believing that translocation is vital to the long-term preservation of the species, &Beyond has joined forces with Great Plains Conservation to move rhino from high-risk areas in South Africa to neighbouring Botswana, a country that boasts an excellent anti-poaching record. With the project aiming to translocate 100 rhino, the first batch of animals has been successfully transported and released in Botswana.
The brand new Rhinos Without Borders website will be launched on 22 September to coincide with World Rhino Day. Interested donors can log on www.rhinoswithoutborders.com from this date to make their contributions.
While &Beyond continues to raise funds for the Rhinos Without Borders project, the company also aims to increase awareness of the plight of the rhino. This includes encouraging guests to become involved in activities such as rhino notching, which involves taking DNA samples and notching a rhino’s ears for identification purposes.
&Beyond is also throwing its weight behind the Inter-Schools Rhino Sculpture Challenge 2015, to be held at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront on 22 September and ending the 22nd October. Due to be launched by the Premier of the 2 Western Cape, Helen Zille, the event includes the exhibition of life-size rhino sculptures passionately crafted by school children from eleven Cape Town schools. In a further show of solidarity for rhino conservation efforts, &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve Conservation Manager Simon Naylor will be speaking to over 5000 children on the topic of rhino conservation.
&Beyond will be posting updates from the event on social media and invites all interested parties to follow the conversation efforts (#WorldRhinoDay, #Rhino, #Rhinos, #RhinosWithoutBorders, #CareOfTheWildlife).