Vietnamese delegation on 'save the rhino' safari

A Vietnamese delegation is visiting South African game reserves, for the first time, to see the effects of rhino poaching.

The Rhinose Foundation hope that educating the Asian market that horns have no medicinal benefit, may just save the 35-million-year-old species.
 
A Vietnamese police constable, a celebrity, a politician and an environmental activist are all in Kruger National Park.

They first visited a rhino undergoing rehabilitation.

They are here to see the effects of rhino poaching on the ecosystem. They want to see how this affects the game rangers who risk their lives, conservationists now fighting a paramilitary war, and the local community who rely on the parks for a living.

Vietnam's last native rhino was killed in 2010. Rangers at Kruger's control centre work around the clock to avoid a similar fate for the local species.

Andrew Paterson of the Rhinose Foundation said, "The delegation saw live rhino like old Crocky over here, and now I hope the dead body will strike an emotional chord with them."

The fact finding mission was sponsored by South Africans who’ve been sporting red rhino noses on their car grills.

A popular blogger, Xuan Bac, who has half a million Facebook fans, intends to use social media to spread his newfound knowledge back home.

"I saw many beautiful things in Kruger but this makes me very sad. We must do something about rhino poaching," said Bac.

Education for Nature Vietnam's Thi Phuong Thao will be fighting the rhino war on the Vietnamese front.

"I saw live rhino in the wild and then this... dead rhino and it hurts my heart," said Thao after seeing a rhino carcass.

Constable Viettien Nguyen and National Assembly Member Tian Nhan are hoping to influence environmental policy in a country where the consumption of rhino horn is legal.

 

- eNCA

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