By David Donald
Towering over the exhibition site, the 9.7m tall #Parabot has come to AAD with a purpose: to raise awareness of the plight of Africa’s endangered wildlife, particularly the rhino. The problem is huge: so far this year more than 760 rhinos have been taken by poachers in South Africa, and the Kruger National Park has borne the brunt.
Topped with a giant horn, the one-tonne ‘Transformer’- like #Parabot is based on Paramount Group’s Mbombe 6 armoured vehicle. As well as standing as a timely symbol of resistance to the rhino trade just days before World Rhino Day on 22 September, #Parabot also highlights the part the defence industry can play in stopping poaching by providing equipment, technology and training.
Paramount Group supports conservation efforts through a number of means, such as the provision of aerial platforms, combat training for park rangers, and the establishment of South Africa’s largest training facility for ranger dogs, which are used on anti-poaching patrols.
The company is showcasing this facility here at AAD at #Parabot’s mighty feet, as well as a mobile command and control centre that can co-ordinate the actions of land and air forces engaged in anti-poaching operations.