When Unitrans Volkswagen & Audi conceived the idea of making a difference in the war against Rhino poaching, they may not have been aware of how significant this decision would be.
The Unite against Poaching trust was established and the aim is to raise funds, increase awareness and make a difference in the war against poaching. The initiative would allow the man in the street to contribute towards effective counter poaching when making his next purchase of a vehicle. Each time a vehicle is sold within the Unitrans VW & Audi group R500 was pledged towards securing our rhinos for future generations. To date an inspirational R 4.470 Million has been generated!!!
These funds have been deployed rapidly and with incredible effectiveness in the field. One of the major requirements was to ensure that the field rangers, who come face to face in the bush with super equipped and desperate rhino poachers, can hold their own in this dangerous and treacherous battle to secure our rhinos for generations to come. To be successful, the field rangers need basic survival equipment and refined and well-honed skills. The Unite against Poaching trust fund has been pivotal in providing precisely these to the field rangers within the various SANParks. This has been achieved with the co-operation and support of the SANParks Honorary Rangers. All volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure the most effective usage of the trust funds.
Survival equipment , rhino monitoring equipment, and skilled clandestine training has been provided to the 400 field rangers in the Kruger National Park, as well as a start has been made to the 150 additional field rangers who have been provided to swell their ranks in an attempt to control the onslaught against the rhinos particularly in the Kruger National Park. (At present , they have lost an unbelievable 149 rhinos to poaching in 2012 alone). The 88 rangers in the Addo Elephant National Park have also been fully equipped to be able to spend extended periods in the bush to assist in preventing poaching in the reserve.
Another weapon in the arsenal to fight poaching has been the establishment of a Dog Tracking unit in the Kruger Park. These highly trained canines are going to make a significant contribution to the apprehension of poachers and ultimately the survival of the rhinos. They are able to rapidly establish the scent and follow the trail of the poachers’ day or night, offering significant advantages over the present human tracking which is limited to visibility of the signs. Many poaching incident take place under cover of darkness and this advantage has been nullified by the introduction of the canine warriors.
What an incredible impact has been made in the battle for the survival of the rhinos by the contribution of the Unitrans Volkswagen & Audi’s Unite against Poaching trust. The impact this initiative has made is immeasurable and despite the numbers of poaching’s being so high, it is frightening to think what would have happened had these funds not been available to secure the rhinos as part of our national heritage and pride. Each member of the public who has purchased a vehicle since 1st September 2012 can be proud and re-assured that they have directly assisted in helping the plight of the rhinos, and be confident that the funds generated have been put to optimum use.
For further information on how the funds are used and who the 13 fantastic dealerships are that have taken this initiative to heart …. Check out www.uniteagainstpoaching.co.za