Sponsored bakkies work hard for rhino protection
VOLKSWAGEN and Nissan have joined Izuzu in again supporting rangers against rhino poachers by sponsoring Amarok and Patrol bakkies.
Volkswagen has been partnering with the Forever Wild Rhino Protection Initiative since 2011, and in the past five years the Amaroks have assisted in the arrest of suspected poachers, the confiscation of firearms, the recovery of rhino horn, extended patrols in game parks around the country, rhino tracking exercises and the relocation of rhino for safety reasons and support to aerial teams across the country.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles announced last week its has renewed its support of this initiative by extending the sponsorship of six new Amarok dou- ble cabs for another year.
Nissan has donated a Patrol 4x4 to the Pilanesberg National Park’s rhino protection unit to help monitor large areas of the 550 km² park.
The vehicle sponsorship comes after Nissan SA’s recent sponsorship of the ear-notching of two white rhino in the Pilanesberg National Park.
Accepting the vehicle, Pilanesberg National Park’s manager Johnson Maoka said that manpower and mobility are two key elements in the rhino protection initiative.
“Because of the park’s vast tracts of rugged terrain, we are delighted to take ownership of the powerful Nissan Patrol to access as many areas as possible on our rhino monitoring routines,” said Maoka.
The Nissan Patrol forms part of a fleet of vehicles in the rhino protection initiative. Apart from vehicle patrols, the armed and camouflaged rhino protection team also use specially trained dogs in their K9 unit to assist in detection and tracking exercises.
While rhino preservation efforts are paying off at the Pilanesberg National Park, the poaching threat is everpresent. “We haven’t lost a rhino since February, but this doesn’t mean we can afford to drop our guard,” said Maoka. “Monitoring remains a round-the-clock activity.” — WWR.
Volkswagen has continued its sponsorship of six new Amarok double cabs for the fifth year to support the Forever Wild Rhino Protection Initiative.