Rhino Walk: ‘positive result realised in few years’

2011-08-01 00:00

THE drive to educate the public about the scourge of Rhino poaching propelled Paul Jennings, one half of the Rights for Rhino team, to risk death and continue to walk despite getting bad flu in the early stages of the walk.

Jennings and Siboniso Phakathi embarked on a 2 000-kilometre journey from Musina to Cape Town to raise awareness of rhino killings. They completed their walk in Cape Town recently.

Statistics in rhino poaching reveal that last year a rhino was killed every day. This year it has been reported that more than a 100 rhinos have already been killed.

Speaking to The Witness last week Jennings said during the early stages of the race he had contracted flu from his walking partner which he struggled with for almost two weeks.

“Early on in the walk Phakathi and I had to get flu shots. He contracted flu first and I caught it from him. Although he managed to shake it off quickly, I struggled with the flu for almost two weeks during the walk,” said Jennings.

“This was a risk because if you have flu the body is not supposed to be under strain or perform gruelling exercise as this increases the risk of heart attacks.”

He said however they believe their objective to raise awareness had been achieved. “The positive result of the walk will be realised in a few years time because most of the people we spoke to were children.”

They visited about 25 schools and spoke to an estimated 16 000 children.

“During the walk we also had a great deal of support from community members.

“I also noticed that there were more stories in the newspapers about rhino poaching which was a positive sign that the problem was gaining prominence.”

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