The ambassador for the Tshukudu Lenaka Campaign, Anton Fouché (40), arrived in Musina last Friday after walking from Pretoria while pulling a man-made, life-size rhino from Pretoria, to raise funds and awareness about rhino poaching.
Since he departed from Pretoria on 19 August, Fouché has walked about 520 km. Made of fibreglass, his rhino has 618 red stickers on its body, which represents the number of rhinos killed in South Africa from 1 January to 9 September 2013. Tshukudu Lenaka campaign is operating under the flag of the Limpopo Angels, a Section 21 company.
Addressing curious nature fanatics on the N1 while entering Musina, Fouché said the aim of the campaign was to tell, show and involve people locally and nationally in anti-poaching activities and the conservation of rhinos. “Few people realize the challenges facing anti-poaching units, and the kilometres to patrol with no idea of where the poachers plan to hit next. Bearing this in mind, intelligence-driven operations are the cornerstone to cracking syndicates, which is why we have identified two beneficiaries who are focused on intelligence/informant networks and special equipment to execute their tasks.”
During his long haul, Fouché has visited local schools and shopping centres en route to Musina. “My aim is to tell, show, involve people and continue to raise funds to protect the rhinos. Rhinos are endangered species and it is our joint responsibility to make sure that they get the protection they deserve.”
He said beneficiaries of his initiative included The Anti-Poaching Intelligence Group Southern Africa and the South African Police Services (SAPS) Anti-Poaching Unit. “We will continue to raise funds in order to support them with tangible equipment and items to combat poaching of rhinos and to educate communities and the general public.”
An adventurer, Fouché said it was not the first time he engaged himself in raising community awareness. “In 2009, I walked a total distance of 2 000km from Cape Town to the Beit Bridge Border Post to raise awareness on a healthy lifestyle. I will continue to take part in community-building initiatives until my last day on earth.”