By Montsho Matlala
The devastating rhino poaching in the country has prompted cement producer Lafarge SA and tractor brand New Holland to join hands to raise funds and other resources for baby rhinos left parentless or injured by poachers.
These little rhinos are taken care of at the Baby Rhino Orphanage home, which is said to be the first of its kind in the world. The animal orphanage is situated at the Entabeni Resort in Mokopane.
A New Holland tractor led a procession in Rhino Run and came to a standstill at the Entabeni Resort after travelling for 36 days last week.
The Rhino Run started in Cape Town on August 30 and by the time participants arrived at the resort they had covered a distance of 3000km, which took them through 27 towns.
Along the Rhino Run routes presentations were made to schools on the devastating effects of poaching activities on the wildlife heritage.
Participants also handed out food parcels to some underprivileged schools. Proceeds from the run and from a gala dinner held at the resort would be spent on acquiring consumables such as milk and medicines for the baby rhinos.
The centre also needs security fencing, more shelters, tables, chairs and shelving.
Lafarge SA’s national sales and marketing manager for cement division, Maria Sazeides, said her company could not watch helplessly as years of successful conservation was systematically destroyed by poachers.
Sazeides said the country was home to 90% of the world’s rhino population.
“Sadly in spite of all the efforts to fight poaching, it looks as though we will lose even more rhinos this year than last year’s total of 668,” she said