Un­usual ex­pe­di­tion to help rhino calves

The Witness - - NEWS - — Wit­ness Re­porter. • newsed@wit­ness.co.za

LO­CAL mo­torists and res­i­dents were sur­prised to see a life­sized rhino be­ing towed along the road on Fri­day.

The fi­bre­glass replica, named Olli (the acro­nym for One Land Love It), was on its way to Gwahumbe Game and Spa in Mid­Illovo, where it spent the night with eco­war­rior cy­clist Wayne Bolton and his team.

The unique con­voy is cur­rently on an un­usual ex­pe­di­tion called The Olli Fron­tier Rhino Ride, in an ef­fort to cre­ate con­ser­va­tion aware­ness, to thank game rangers for the role they play in pro­tect­ing our nat­u­ral her­itage, and to raise funds for Care for Wild Africa, the big­gest rhino or­phan­age and sanc­tu­ary in the world.

Vol­un­teer game ranger Bolton set off on a 6 000 km trans­South Africa jour­ney last year.

He named his jour­ney The One land Love it (Olli) ex­pe­di­tion and con­nected to all 19 South African na­tional parks by cy­cling from Kruger Na­tional Park down the West Coast all the way to the Addo Ele­phant Na­tional Park. He said his cur­rent jour­ney was prompted by the in­crease in rhino poach­ing. In KwaZulu­Natal alone, around 227 rhi­nos were poached in 2015 and 2016. Be­tween Jan­uary and May 31 this year, more than 100 have al­ready fallen prey to poach­ers

His lat­est 2 000 km ride started in his home­town of Nel­son Man­dela Bay, through the Wild Coast and on to KwaZulu­Natal be­fore he heads to the Mozam­bique bor­der, where he will plant a flag with the mes­sage, Close the Gates.

The life­sized rhino is towed along by the sup­port ve­hi­cle.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

With Olli the rhino are (from left) Wayne Bolton, and Neil Hampson and Derek Grose from Gwahumbe Game and Spa in Mid­Illovo.

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