Isuzu’s Dehorning Project
With more than 5000 Rhinos getting poached during the last six years, and predictions that this year 1500 Rhinos will be killed - it seems like Rhinos are being wiped out one by one – and all this is just for their horns. And these numbers don’t even include the orphaned calves dying after their mothers are killed. Rhino poaching has escalated to such a level that the fear of them going extinct is very real. Luckily, there are many people who want to make a difference along with many initiatives, such as the Rhino Dehorning Project sponsored by Isuzu in partnership with Nkombe Rhino, a non-profit organisation dedicated to wildlife conservation.
The Rhino Dehorning Project
The project was done to help the White Rhinoceros in the Blue Canyon Conservancy, near Hoedspruit in the Limpopo Province. To involve the community and make them aware of the Rhino’s plight, a group of school children were invited to attend the dehorning operation.
Co-founder of Nkombe Rhino and famous rugby player Joe Pietersen showed his dedication to conservation with his hands-on approach. But it wasn’t only him, the rest of the Nkombe Rhino Team including Martin Meyer (co-founder of Nkombe Rhino), showed their dedication and leadership qualities.
Also present was the top wildlife veterinarian, Dr Pete Rogers and Janelle Goodrich, from ProVet Wildlife Services. They were instrumental in ensuring that the dehorning operation went smoothly.
Isuzu Brand Manager, Mlungisi Nonkonya and other Isuzu representatives were present. Isuzu provided a fleet of Isuzu KB 300 4x4 Double Cab bakkies to act as support vehicles to track and dart the Rhinos. Marius van Vuuren and his team from the Isuzu Off-Road Academy and Driving Dynamics were also there to assist.
The amazing canvas en-suite tented accommodation and delicious meals were provided by Chiefs Luxury Safari Tented Camps (a mobile “safari” styled canvas tented camp operator in South Africa), who’s management and staff looked after the smallest details.
General Motors and Isuzu sponsored the Rhino Dehorning Project, which was smoothly coordinated by Heidi Nelson and the team from Saatchi & Saatchi.