This month the Isuzu Off-Road Academy joined members of Rhino Revolution as a logistics partner, providing funding to assist with locating and capturing rhino, as part of a major dehorning and DNA collection programme in Hoedspruit, Limpopo. Rhino Revolution is a non-governmental organisation which was founded in 2011 by concerned community members and rhino owners. The Rhino Revolution project has initiated a 7-point plan which underscores a long-term vision to protect and grow the population of rhino back to sustainable numbers.
Key aspects include dehorning and treatment of all surviving rhino in order to relieve the threat of poaching in the short term, to seek out intelligence and information on poaching activity, to utilise the most innovative and advanced technologies to track and monitor rhino movement, and maximise efforts in ensuring the apprehension of poachers and the enforcement of the maximum possible sentence terms.
“The state of rhino poaching in South Africa is at an extreme level and we as South Africans have to do everything in our power to put an end to this brutal and cruel trade. Isuzu, through the Off-Road Academy, is well placed to lend a helping hand to this cause by providing driver training as well as logistics support to the anti-poaching rangers working with the rhino project,” says Mlungisi Nonkonyana, Isuzu Brand Manager at General Motors South Africa.
The project, which also takes on a strong community focus, seeks further to involve the media and community in the broadest context to heighten a zero-tolerance approach to poaching, and to educate the people of the region at a grass roots level on the value of wildlife tourism to the local economy. “We have given the go-ahead for the Isuzu Off-Road Academy to conduct a two day off-road driver training course with 20 rangers from Rhino Revolution.
This will be a valuable skill for the organisation as most of the rangers are drawn from the local community in Hoedspruit and have no prior off-road driving experience,” concludes Nonkonyana. For more information on Rhino Revolution, visit www.rhino-revolution.com. Isuzu Off-Road Academy courses are also available to the public – visit www.isuzu.co.za or call 011 431 2000 for more information.