This year World Rhino Day falls on the 22nd of September (this week Sunday). This day celebrates all five species of rhino on planet Earth: black, white, greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan.
World Rhino Day was introduced by the WWF in South Africa in 2010, but expanded into a global phenomenon in 2011. Since then World Rhino Day has been uniting NGOs, zoos, cause-related organizations, businesses and concerned individuals from most corners of the globe. This project is the brainchild of Lisa Jane Campbell (from the Chishakwe Ranch in Zimbabwe) and Rhishja Cota-Larson (an American conservation blogger) who shared the same inspirations and by working together the two of them have made World Rhino Day a reality.
World Rhino Day is going to be huge in 2013. Events have been planned at the Werribee Open Range Zoo and Taronga Western Plains Zoo (in Australia), at the Frankfurt Zoological Society (in Germany), at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (In Kenya), at venue in Kuala Lumpur (in Malaysia), at the Chitwan National Park (in Nepal) and at the Auckland Zoo (in New Zealand).
If you’re a concerned South African citizen you’re more than welcome to join Project Rhino KZN and explorer / humanitarian / author Kinglsey Holgate for World Rhino Weekend at the Boardwalk Shopping Centre (in Richards Bay). There will be more than 5,000 pieces of rhino art by children in South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland on display. Holgate and other celebrities will be speaking to an estimated 30,000 visitors over the weekend. The Thando Rhinos (a local soccer team) will be making an appearances and white “rhino crosses” will be sold to raise funds for the project. Schools, businesses and conservation leaders have lined up for this weekend filled with targeted action, fundraising and awareness.
The rhino death toll is nearing 600 animals for 2013 and Africa’s rhino poaching crisis is reaching critical levels. To spread awareness about this Project Rhino KZN have posted a video on YouTube featuring children voicing their concerns about rhino poaching, check it out below:
This is not the only World Rhino Day event in South Africa. Various other events have been planned around the country:
- WWF South Africa has been leading a World Rhino Day Twitter storm for the past week to raise awareness.
- A World Rhino Day March will be held on the 21st of September (Saturday) in Pretoria. The march will start at 8 AM at Church Square and end at the Pretoria Zoo and is organized by Unite Against Rhino Poaching, South African National Parks and the Department of Environmental Affairs.
- Free State residents can make their way to the Goldfields Mall in Welkom to clad their “Mapompana” rhino sculpture in R10 notes on the same day in aid of Anti Poaching.
- A “paint-a-thon” will be held at Greenwhich College in Johannesburg. For the second year in a row student volunteers will be giving up their Saturday night to paint pictures of rhinos.
For more information about World Rhino Day, check out their official website, follow @WorldRhinoDay or the #WorldRhinoDay hashtag on Twitter or join the conversation on the World Rhino Day Facebook Page.
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