Civvies save rhinos

2016-10-04 06:00
 Fish Hoek Primary School learners 10-year-old Hope Turnbull (left) and her sister Lucy (7).

Fish Hoek Primary School learners 10-year-old Hope Turnbull (left) and her sister Lucy (7).

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Fish Hoek children are playing their part in the conservation of rhinos.

Poachers have killed more than 700 of South Africa’s rhino in the first eight months this year, according to reports the South African Department of Environmental Affairs. This is the equivalent of more than three rhinos killed every day.

This depressing news inspired a Grade 4 eco-warrior at Fish Hoek Primary School to get involved to help conserve the rhino.

Hope Turnbull (10) wrote a letter to her school asking if they could hold a civvies day on Thursday 22 September – World Rhino Day. The school agreed and the contributions of parents, teachers and children raised R7610.

Hope became passionate about rhino conservation after hearing about the poaching of three rhino at Kariega Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape in 2012. Miraculously one female white rhino survived after her horns were hacked off with machetes. She was the first rhino to survive such a brutal attack and has gone on to birth and raise a calf. The reserve named the brave mum Thandi and her calf Thembi, meaning “Love” and “Hope” in isiXhosa.

Hope Turnbull felt very connected to Thembi as they share the same name. She started to fundraise to help protect Thembi and the rhino at Kariega.

This year Hope had a new vision. She wanted to fundraise to help Kariega purchase a female black rhino and start adding to the rapidly declining black rhino population in South Africa.

Hope’s investigations revealed that a female black rhino costs in the region of R70 000 – but she was undeterred.

Now, Fish Hoek Primary, along with Hope and her friends, can proudly say that they have funded 10% of the cost of a female black rhino.

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