SA leads the way in celebrating World Rhino Day

While events are being held around the world to celebrate World Rhino Day 2015 today (22 September) to raise awareness of rhino poaching, the celebration at SA’s Isimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site is being vaunted as one of the largest.

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The event coincides with the park’s broad-based campaign ‘My Rhino, Our Future’, which is specifically targeting youth in the protection of rhinos and other iconic and endangered species in iSimangaliso and South Africa.

“Participants ( in the ‘My Rhino, Our Future’ Rhino Walk) will come together and symbolically join hands as a united front in the fight against poaching and our combined efforts to tackle the greatest threat to this iconic population, human greed,” said iSimangaliso’s spokesperson, Siyabonga Mhlongo.

Other World Rhino Day 2015 campaigns across SA include the 2015 Rhino Benefit Challenge in Underberg, KwaZulu-Natal, the World Rhino Day Fun Challenge where people are invited to paint their noses red or donate money to support anti-rhino poaching, a Cape Town-based crowd-funding campaign to finance the printing of the Rescuing Rhino children’s’ book and the selection of five SA Youth Rhino Ambassadors who will visit Vietnam in October to highlight the plight of African rhino populations while there.

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Annual rhino poaching statistics have increased dramatically since 2010, especially in SA. The Rhino Action Group Effort (RAGE) said that 333 SA rhino were poached in 2010, 448 in 2011, 668 in 2012, 1 004 in 2013, and 1 215 in 2014.

Environmental Affairs minister, Edna Molewa, previously stated that over the period 01 January – 27 August 2015, SA had lost a total of 749 rhino to poachers. Over the same period last year a total of 716 of SA’s rhino had been poached.