Limpopo to Cape Town walk for anti-poaching

2011-04-05 00:00

THE scourge of rhino poaching in the country has prompted two Pietermaritzburg men to embark on a long walk from Limpopo to Cape Town in an attempt to raise awareness of rhino poaching.

Statistics revealed by the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife last week showed that last year about 365 rhinos were killed in South Africa, an equivalent of one rhino a day. In KwaZulu-Natal this year, nine rhinos have been killed.

Paul Jennings, a former Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife employee, and Siboniso Phakathi, an employee of the anti-poaching organisation Protrack in Limpopo, are preparing to walk from Musina in Limpopo to Cape Town to raise public awareness of Rhino poaching.

The trip — about 2 000 kilometres — will last for three months, beginning this month until July.

“We decided to do the walk to enlighten the community about the scourge of the killing of the rhinos because it just seems that the community is not fully aware of how bad the situation of rhino poaching actually is,” said Jennings.

“Along the way, we plan to visit as many schools as possible educating children and showing the pictures of the dead rhinos to showcase how gruesomely they are killed and how bad the situation is,” he added.

To prepare for the walk, Jennings said he had begun training by walking. “I have been training for a month and at this stage I can do about 20 kilometres a day and I hope to improve to about 25 kilometres a day. I believe that as time goes on we would just get fitter and fitter.”

“To cover the distance of about 2 000 kilometers in three months we will need to be able to do about 25 to 30 kilometers a day or if not we could still be walking by August,” added Jennings.

In the build up to their walk, Jennings and Phakathi met with the conservation legend Dr Ian Player at the weekend who wished them luck

“It is imperative that the plight of these animals is brought into the spotlight, and the rights for rhinos walk will achieve this,” said Dr Player.

Dr Ian Player, conservationist

It is imperative that the plight of these animals is brought into the spotlight.

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