Funding for vital rhino protection
16:33 (GMT+2), Wed , 24 September 2014
Tamlyn Jolly

AS part of its ongoing initiative to help support the area’s rhino population, Hluhluwe Protea Hotel raised and donated R60 000 to rhino conservation through its Rhino Special on rates over the past year.

General Manager of Protea Hotel Hluhluwe and Safaris, Daniel Tharratt, said the hotel’s efforts to combat the scourge of rhino poaching is a passion for every staffer.

Tharratt said, ‘This year we are focusing on raising more money for the sterling efforts of those who fight on the ground to conserve rhinos for the next generation.’

Expanding on this, Tharratt announced the hotel’s plans to support Hluhluwe’s Honourary Officers (HOs) who help monitor rhinos in neighbouring Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park (HiP).

From each Rhino Special booking, R50 will be put towards the Hluhluwe HOs fund, thereby helping protect rhinos in the immediate area.

The second recipient of the hotel’s fund-raisers for the next year is the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT).

From each Rhino Special booking, a further R25 will be spent on a Relate Save the Rhino bracelet.

Each booking will be given one bracelet and encouraged to buy more.

Relate Bracelets is a non-profit social enterprise where a third of total profits goes towards materials, another third to the bracelet makers and the final third to the charity it supports.

In this case, the charity supported is the EWT’s Rhino Project.

Out of the R60 000 raised last year, R40 000 went towards the construction of of a fixed-wing aircraft hangar.

The Bathawk aircraft is used by the Hluhluwe HOs for monitoring and surveillance.

This has proven helpful in the early detection of rhino carcasses, allowing increased response times by conservation officers.

Apart from Hluhluwe Protea Hotel’s contribution, other donations for the hangar came from Save the Rhino International and other individuals and institutions in KZN.

Nicholas Barenblatt, Protea Hotels Group Marketing Manager said, ‘Protea Hotel Hhuhluwe and Safaris has taken on the cause of rhino conservation with great vigour.

The hotel’s clear, strategic conservation focus is making a palpable difference to those individuals and institutions whose daily work it is to outwit poachers.’

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