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Amaroks take rhino fight to poachers

2014-07-11 09:53

MORE PRESSURE ON POACHERS: Matthew Norval (left), director of conservation at the Wilderness Foundation, accepts the six VW Amarok pick-ups from VW's PR manager Andile Dlamini. Image: Quickpic

UITENHAGE, Eastern Cape - Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has extended its rhino protection partnership with the Wilderness Foundation for another year by sponsoring six Amarok double-cabs.

It's VW Commercial Vehicles' contribution to the 'Forever Wild' rhino protection initiative pioneered by the Wilderness Foundation which started in June 2011 with the sponsorship of six Amaroks for use in pro-active rhino protection and anti-poaching activities in game reserves in Mpumalanga, North West, Eastern Cape and kwaZulu-Natal.

PARTNERSHIP RE-AFFIRMED

The conservation agencies that benefit from the continued partnership are Sanparks, North West Parks & Tourism Board, Eastern Cape Parks & Tourism Agency, KZN Wildlife and Eastern Cape Private Game Reserves Association (Indalo).

David Powels, VW SA's managing director, said: "The extension of our partnership re-affirms our commitment to helping the Wilderness Foundation to fight the scourge of rhino poaching. The Forever Wild initiative is in line with VW's 'Think Blue' philosophy which promotes co-operation with organisations that are environmentally conscious and work towards the sustainability of endangered species - such as rhinos."

The Forever Wildinitiative is concerned with maintaining populations of free-ranging rhino in state and privately managed conservation areas. It supports conservation agencies and organised private game reserves to protect their rhino population as part of functioning natural eco-systems.

'SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION'

The campaign also wants to focus the attention of politicians and decision-makers and to encourage them to apply pressure, inside and outside South Africa, to address the issue of the illegal trade in rhino horn and other wildlife products.

Matthew Norval, conservatiion director with the foundation, said: "We are very grateful for VW's continued support with the Amaroks which we have placed in game reserves across the country. The vehicles are making a significant contribution to our fight against the poaching of rhinos as well as other wildlife-related crimes."

More than 550 rhinos were killed in South Africa between January 1 and July 2014.
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