4x4, commercials, industry, Motoring News, off-road, VW

VW still up for life-and-death challenge of SA rhino poaching

  • VW Commercial still backs Wilderness Foundation
  • More 1 000 000km driven to support rhinos since 2011
  • Amarok bakkies for renewed sponsorship
DEAD FOR ITS HORN: One of the VW Amarok support bakkies and its crew could do nothing for this poached rhino but the efforts of the bakkie fleet is doing sterling work in the uMfolozi wildlife reserve. Image: VW SA

JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – 7720 rhino have been killed by poachers in South Africa since 2010. It’s a stark figure that should horrify any thinking person.

That’s at least two, every day to steal muti material identical to that of human finger- and toenails.

Trying to do something about it is VW Commercial Vehicles which has renewed its sponsorship and support for the African Wilderness Foundation.

BACKING LAW AND CONSERVATION

Andile Dlamini, VW SA Group’s PR guy, told The Corner: ”Rhinocerus play a key role in the ecosystem and are vital to South Africa’s eco-tourism market. SA has most of the continent’s horned giants so we decided back in 2011 to support Wilderness Foundation Africa’s anti-poaching activities.

”The Forever Wild Rhino Initiative, using VW Amarok bakkies, provides logistic and operational support to conservation and law enforcement agencies and helps to raise public awareness of SA’s rhino crisis by managing a rhino anti-poaching tip-off hotline and managing and reducing rhino horn demand in Vietnam.”

The initiative has added vehicles, dogs, and aircraft support, as well as intelligence gathering and specialist support into rhino syndicates. It also supports Eastern Cape rhino DNA collection.

TWO-MILLION RANDS  A YEAR

The Amaroks have operated among South Africa’s rhino population hot spots since 2011 in kwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, North West, Eastern Cape and Western Cape provinces.

The R2-million annual sponsorship keeps six Amaroks on the roads and tracks of the wilderness. They carry anti-poaching staff, equipment, and supplies as well as K9 tracking teams. They also ferry vets to help rhino which survive an attack.

Education of young people in villages adjacent to game reserves is also a priority.

EIGHT YEARS OF SUPPORT

VW will also be bringing 14 Vietnamese youngsters to Africa to work in the uMfolozi reserve.

Dlamini added: ‘‘We’re proud that for the eight years the Amaroks have driven more than a million kilometres to help to protect South Africa’s rhino population – it’s an important cause.”

Indeed it is…

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