The first Rhino Run was held in 2012 with the vision to increase awareness about the rhino poaching epidemic, raise funds to support rhino conservation projects and to get more people out having fun running. The Rhino Run 2019 was the eighth annual event and the organisers can be proud that they are delivering on all three areas of their vision. The Kariega Foundation Save the Rhino project is grateful to be one of the recipients of funds raised by the Rhino Run.
Our Kariega teams came out in force to support the 2019 Rhino Run held on the beach at Kenton-on-Sea, the nearest town to Kariega Game Reserve. The Kenton event attracted a total of 753 participants on 15 September 2019. Events were also held in Cape Town, George and Port Elizabeth on the same day.
Kariega Teams Support 2019 Rhino Run
The Kariega team that participated in the 2019 Rhino Run at Kenton-on-Sea included just over 300 people! The majority of this team were children who are involved in our various Kariega Foundation community programmes incorporating sport, environmental education, dancing and other youth development projects. The Kariega Foundation funded the entry for all of the children and during the month of September our environmental education programme in local schools focussed on information about rhino poaching and the need for wildlife conservation.
Well done to everyone who participated, to the wonderful organisers, volunteers, sponsors and everyone else behind the scenes of this brilliant event. We look forward to the 2020 Rhino Run.
A big thank you to Helping Rhinos for their generous donation of funds, generated through the Thandi Adoption programme, that made it possible for us to include as many as 300 participants in this years event. Helping Rhinos believes wholeheartedly in the role of education in creating a sustainable and safe future, free from the threat of poaching for rhino and other endangered species. The Rhino Run is a great way to educate, get fit and have fun all on the same day! The Thandi Adoption Programme is a collaborative effort between The Kariega Foundation and Helping Rhinos for the big picture objective of raising funds to for a school-based environmental education programme and the training of community conservation interns in the Eastern Cape.
Founder and Director of Helping Rhinos was a former Kariega Volunteer, who was inspired to end his corporate career and start Helping Rhinos after meeting poaching survivor Thandi at Kariega Game Reserve. We are not only grateful for people like Simon in the world, but also for the funds raised via all the people who have adopted Thandi or her calves Thembi, Colin and Mthetho through the Helping Rhinos adoption programme. Thank you.
The Story Behind The Rhino Run
The founders of the Rhino Run, Sian and Sheena O'Keeffe, became aware of rhino poaching in 2012 when they heard about the three rhino that were poached at Kariega Game Reserve. Thandi, Themba and bull #84 were the victims of this horrific event. When the rhinos were found on the morning of 2 March 2012, bull #84 had already passed away and Thandi and Themba were barely alive with significant wounds. Themba (meaning hope in isiXhosa), the white rhino bull in the prime of his life, died 24 days after the poaching. The veterinary teams, lead by Dr. William Fowlds, focussed on Thandi (meaning courage or to be loved in isiXhosa) and spent many hours treating her. She showed an incredible will to survive and slowly recovered from her injuries.
Thandi has gone on to have three healthy calves since the poaching incident in 2012. The rhino crash all continue to live in the wild at Kariega Game Reserve. Thandi can be seen in the picture above with her newest calf who was born in April 2019. Find out more about Thandi and her family and how you can help protect them and other rhino.
Thank You To Helping Rhinos
Founder and Director of Helping Rhinos, Simon Jones, was a former Kariega Conservation Volunteer. His story is similar to the founders of the Rhino Run as he was inspired to end his corporate career and start Helping Rhinos after meeting poaching survivor Thandi at Kariega Game Reserve. We are not only grateful for people like Simon in the world, but also for the funds raised via all the people who have adopted Thandi or her calves Thembi, Colin and Mthetho through the Helping Rhinos adoption programme. Thank you.
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Images thanks to the Rhino Run team and Kariega Anti-Poaching Leader Daniel Haesslich.