The Rhino Action Group Effort (RAGE) will now be able to establish a specialist task team that will be strategically deployed to fight rhino poaching and bring culprits to book, thanks to a R190 000 donation from comparison website hippo.co.za.
Commissioned by RAGE with the approval of the South African Police Service, the team will proactively work to prevent rhino killings in targeted reserves based on risk warnings and intelligence. The team will also work reactively to apprehend perpetrators involved in rhino poaching incidents.
The donation was raised through hippo.co.za’s Save the Rhino initiative.The funding from hippo.co.za will be used to purchase sophisticated night vision equipment and will pay the task team’s monthly vehicle costs, including insurance and fuel, for six months.
“Our Save the Rhino campaign was launched in November 2012. hippo.co.za donated R10 for every selected online quote generated to RAGE. Our objective was to make it easier for consumers to make a contribution to an extremely important cause – saving our rhino,” said hippo.co.za general manager Amanda Thomas.
FUNDING RHINO CONSERVATION
RAGE was set-up by Lead SA in 2011 as a safe collector and conduit of public donations toward rhino conservation causes. It ensures that monies collected from well-meaning individuals and organisations are appropriately directed to anti-poaching organisations and areas that need funding most.
“We fully-endorse the establishment of a specialist task team to subvert planned attacks on rhinos and action the arrests of perpetrators,” said Thomas. “A dedicated team focused on acting on intelligence to prevent rhino killings will certainly be a powerful weapon against the scourge of rhino poaching.
“We are honoured to be part of getting this operation off the ground.”
RAGE spokesperson Andy Rice thanked hippo for the sponsorship, stating that it was imperative to have adequate funding in order to tackle rhino poaching effectively.