Riding for Rhinos 
 

Callum and Logan Tait, Matt Perrott and Chris Hyslop are four remarkable young men from Bishops Diocesan College, in Cape Town South Africa.  They have  quite literally put their passion for nature conservation into physical action. They successfully cycled approximately 600km from Cape to Knysna in six days to raise funds and awareness for Rhinos. 

This vital project comes at a time when rhino poaching in South Africa is at an all time high, with the species teetering on the brink of extinction. 

These gentlemen raised almost R200 000.00 and decided to spend the generous donations on having two Rhinos notched in Kwa-Zulu Natal.  Simone Godfrey, co-founder of Cycle for Life Charity organised and paid for the boys to travel and to stay in Natal so that they could experience first hand where their money was being spent.   Rhinos in Africa paid for the ground transfers and chaperoned the boys to Phinda Private Game Reserve.  

The notching enables the collection and storage of vitally important genetic information.  It is an important process especially because of the dwindling numbers of Rhino in Africa.  The process is very expensive and involves a huge amount of expertise and experience.  The donation from the boys covered the cost of two Rhino notching which were carried out separately.  

The Rhino were darted from a helicopter and once adequately immobilised they were  blindfolded. The ground crew then moved in, the animal had its ears notched and DNA samples taken (blood, tissue and hair) for identification purposes. A microchip was also inserted into the animal’s horn. The animal received a long acting antibiotic and multivitamin during the procedure and the anaesthetic was closely monitored throughout. Because of the high ambient temperature, water was poured over the rhino to cool it. Once the reversal agent was given the animals were watched until a good recovery was recorded.


The boys chose to also give some of the funds they raised to a Rhino Sanctuary.  Megan Carr escorted the boys to Thula Thula Rhino Sanctuary where they were able to witness first the hard work and dedication that is required when having to hand raise a Rhino (and Hippo) orphan.   


This was a life changing experience for everyone involved.
 


"This year we decided that we could no longer just sit and support vocally but rather get out and make a valuable contribution to saving the rhino…Through this project we would love to help inspire the youth of our country to support nature conservation and help them to believe that they can make a difference."