Supporters of our campaign to save the rhino have raised over £6,000 to support efforts to protect rhino in South Africa, where these charismatic creatures face extinction through poaching.
The money was raised during a UK tour by international wildlife campaigner and former employee of the Medivet family Dr William Fowlds, Medivet Rhino Project co-ordinator for the Wilderness Foundation, who travelled to the UK to launch the Medivet Saving the Rhino campaign #MedivetRhino. In addition, the Medivet partnership has given £30,000 to support Dr William Fowlds’ activities both as a wildlife veterinarian and as the champion of the cause. Medivet practices across England are also offering an innovative way to donate to the campaign through Pennies, the digital charity box.
During his tour, Dr William Fowlds spoke about the dramatic increase in rhino poaching during the past five years, and about efforts to educate consumers in China and Vietnam – the main markets for rhino horn – where inhabitants believe the powdered horn has many properties, one of them being a cure for cancer, and where its high market value has made it a status symbol. In fact, the horn is made of keratin – the same material as our hair and fingernails.
Dr William Fowlds explained that although the outlook for rhino is critical, efforts on the ground funded by a growing international awareness of this complex issue are having a positive impact. Money raised by the Medivet campaign is being used directly to support pioneering veterinary work to save badly injured rhino, as well as to train tracker dogs who detect rhino horn, and are one of the most effective weapons in the fight to stop the trafficking of illegal wildlife products. One poaching survivor, named Thandi by rescuers, has received pioneering surgery and was featured on international media including the BBC. She recently gave birth to a healthy calf born in a game reserve in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Dr William Fowlds describes the moment when he first saw Thandi’s calf, Thembi, which means ‘hope’ in the local isiXhosa language, as “one of the best days of my life”.
"The amount of money already raised by staff and clients is a fantastic impetus to our Save the Rhino campaign. Through our campaign, we’ll be working to get the message out to as many people as we can, to do whatever we can to help save these wonderful animals from extinction." - Medivet partner John Smithers.
Posted June 8, 2015 in Press