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On World Rhino Day, Swaziland Celebrates 50 Years Of White Rhino

September 23, 2015 Responsible Tourism No Comments Print Print Email Email

World Rhino Day takes places on 22nd September 2015 and people across the planet will be showing their support for rhino conservation.

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The Kingdom of Swaziland is well known for its efforts in rhino conservation and the country’s strong political preventative legislation have been central to this success.

Swaziland’s rhino protection is unmatched by any other country according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. In 2015, Swaziland celebrates the 50th anniversary of the white rhino reintroduction to the country. Both black and white rhino were absent from Swaziland for nearly 70 years until 1965, when the first pair of white rhinos were reintroduced to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.

During the ‘Rhino Wars’ (1988-1992) close to one hundred rhinos were killed by poachers in the country, with thousands more across the rest of Africa. Since then just three rhinos have been poached in Swaziland. The country achieves this conservation success as a result of the Game Act, a highly effective piece of conservation legislation that was initiated by the country’s conservationist, Ted Reilly, approved by his majesty King Mswati III and the Parliament.

Swaziland’s Hlane Royal National Park and Mkhaya Game Reserve offer some of the best places in Africa to see both black and white rhinos in the wild. Visitors have the opportunity to track rhino on foot. Due it its anti-poaching success rhino here are less cautious and experiences here are up close and personal.

Rhino poaching across the world is now at crisis point. If rhino poaching continues to increase at the current rate, then this iconic species could sadly be extinct in the wild by 2026. In South Africa up to 3 rhinos a day are being killed simply for their horns, which are made from keratin – the same material found in human nails.

This year’s World Rhino Day will see the return of the “Nail It For Rhinos” campaign led by Save the Rhino organisation. The campaign (supported by Barry M Cosmetics) asks people to creatively paint their nails, share their nail picture on social media, donate £3 by texting NAIL15 to 70070, and nominate 5 friends to do the same.

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