Cape Town - England bowlers and Investec ambassadors Stuart Broad and Steven Finn took time out from their busy Test schedule while in South Africa to learn more about the relentless poaching of rhino.
Representatives from Investec Rhino Lifeline hosted the cricketers at Shamwari, giving them the opportunity to have first-hand experience of the animals, as well as get to know some of the people dedicated to saving them.
The England cricketers assisted experienced wildlife vet Dr Johan Joubert and anti-poaching expert Rodney Visser as they carried out a DNA and tagging procedure on a young male white rhino. These complex procedures are vital in the effort to track and protect these animals from increasingly sophisticated poachers.
They then visited the Shamwari Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre to witness the recovery of a white rhino that was brutally attacked in 2015, and to learn about the protection, rescue and rehabilitation of rhino.
The project was established in 2012 to raise awareness through youth education in South Africa and Vietnam. This unique two fold approach enables the team to target both the supply and demand side of rhino poaching.
Tanya Dos Santos, Head of Investec Rhino Lifeline, said: “It was an amazing opportunity to introduce Stuart and Steven to some of our country’s incredible wildlife and for them to be personally touched by the magnificence of rhino. The future of the species depends on the passion of our youth, and we hope these cricketers will able to reach and inspire young people to become future conservation heroes.”
Broad said, “As an Investec ambassador it's been an eye-opening experience to learn more about the efforts of Investec Rhino Lifeline. We hope by coming on this trip we can raise awareness of the plight of rhino in South Africa, which is now close to our hearts.”
Steven Finn added, “Coming from the UK I didn't realise what a huge issue the rhino faces. This has been an educational few days and I hope our work today will encourage followers of cricket to learn more about this crisis.”
Investec, the specialist bank and asset manager which originated in South Africa in 1974, has sponsored Broad and Finn since 2012 as well as Test cricket in England from 2011-2021. The bowlers’ visit to the Eastern Cape game reserve was off the back of a nail-biting draw against South Africa in the second Test in Cape Town.