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Published:  2015-12-30 Views:  700
Author:  Fanie
Published in:  BushTalk/VeldTalk
Tattoos For Rhinos

From VeldTalk 78 by Helen Duigan

helen.duigan@veldtalk.co.za

Tattoos for Rhinos

Locals in this neck of the woods are often a shining example of what is possible when hearts, heads and hands work together for a cause close to South Africans’ hearts.

In this case it was a Rands for Rhinos fund-raiser at Base 4 in Doornrandje on Sunday, 8 November. People from far and wide had donated a variety of articles for sale, auction or “make me an offer!” and the total tally was R14 720.00 - plus a cheque for R20 000 from Skin Trade Tattoos! 

The recipient of the day’s takings was the Mankwe Wildlife Reserve. Lynne MacTavish, Mankwe’s Operations Manager, said afterwards: “I find it difficult to explain how overwhelmed I feel by the kindness and generosity shown by all who supported the event in honour of our rhino.

"Special thanks to Base 4, Jenny Compton and Karen Schimmel for hosting and organising the event and getting all the amazing items on sale donated. Words cannot express my appreciation to Sean Stevens and the staff at 'Skin Trade Tattoos' for their incredible R20 000 cheque.”

Audrey Raubenheimer,  Lynne MacTavish and Sean Stevens

Says Karen: "Lynne gave a bone-chilling and emotional first-hand account of how the scourge of poaching affects not only the rhino, but also those who work so hard to protect them. There was not a dry eye in the room and you could hear a pin drop after the presentation."

Sean, also moved by Lynne’s stories, said it was not only the very serious drought situation, but the heartbreak of having a rhino that you saw being born and grow up, get hacked and mutilated by poachers.

"Mark of the Rhino members who give their time to help with anti-poaching patrols came out in full force," said Karen, "and a number of Base 4 members signed up with them to help with anti-poaching patrols." These passionate volunteers have been instrumental in gathering intelligence and following up on leads while providing a highly visible patrol programme.

- An added anguish suffered by Lynne and her team was having to deal with the police’s callous attitude, said Sean. "Members of the SAPS arrived to investigate the poaching - with beers in their hands! They stood around laughing and taking selfies, and asked if a fire could be provided to braai Mankwe’s beloved rhino."

For more info on Mankwe, go to www.mankwewildlifereserve.com and if you want a Mark of the Rhino tattoo, go to www.skintrade.co.za. For info on Mark of the Rhino go to: www.markoftherhino.com


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