Rhino barometer: Actress joins the fight to raise funds

2012-11-08 00:00

TWO more rhino were killed at the Mafikeng Game Reserve in the North West province yesterday, officials said.

“A mother and its calf were found dead,” said spokesperson Dinah Ranganka.

The cow had its horns hacked off, while the calf was not dehorned. The two were found just metres from a main road. This was the first poaching at the reserve this year. About 60 rhino have been killed in the North West in 2012.

Meanwhile U.S. actress Kelly Preston has given her full support to East Coast Radio’s KZN Rhino Watch helicopter project.

The mother of three and wife to John Travolta is a keen environmentalist and was a friend of the late Lawrence Anthony, author of The Last Rhino and The Elephant Whisperer.

East Coast Radio partners with his organisation, the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation, and Preston said South Africans should be inspired by Anthony’s example and do all they can to save and protect the rhino.

“I am reaching out to all of you to please do whatever you can to assist with the massive rhino crisis that we are faced with in South Africa.

“There are only around 22 000 rhino left in South Africa and at the current rate of poaching, we are looking at extinction by the year 2050. But with massive escalation of poaching, it could be sooner.

“I am pleading with you to please make your donation today to help save these beautiful animals. It is all of our responsibility to do whatever we can to save them.

“My dear friend Lawrence Anthony did so much to help save animals during his life.

“I urge you to support the helicopter programme which the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation is running with East Coast Radio.

“Any amount will help. Let’s all make a difference and thank you, thank you, thank you for your support,” said Preston.

The KZN Rhino Watch chopper — funded through listeners’ donations — has been back at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park for six weeks. In that time, more than R880 000 has been raised in donations and pledges.

Last week, The Witness became the project’s official print partner. At least 57 rhino have been poached this year in KwaZulu-Natal — almost 70% more than for the whole of last year.

To get involved, go to www.ecr.co.za and click on News-KZN Rhino Watch.

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