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This is Why Kevin Pietersen Cares About Rhinos

 

 


Fans of the talented cricketer know Kevin Pietersen cares about Rhinos, so much so that his final match with the Melbourne Stars is being dubbed "Rhino Match". Passionate about the fate of these endangered creatures, Pietersen recently visited Western Plains Zoo to show his support for the conservation efforts being made in Dubbo.

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Pietersen's rhino saving efforts also extend to the cricket field. Since late 2016 the South African has sported bats with rhino designs, using the spotlight as an opportunity to draw awareness to the plight of Rhinos around the world. As he put it:

"Every time I go out there, I'm representing an animal which could be extinct in 20 years."


Pietersen is also launching a new charity merchandising brand, SORAI (Saving our Rhinos Africa India) which he hopes will contribute to the conservation and protection of all Rhino species.

These are available soon... @sorai2018 wrist bands.

A post shared by Kevin Pietersen (@kp24) on


If Pietersen's fascination with this ancient and endangered animal has you inspired, here's what you need to know.



All rhinos are at risk

Over a century ago, around half a million rhinos roamed freely through Africa and Asia. Due to loss of habitat from human development and poaching, very few rhinos now exist in the wild, most living in wildlife parks and reserves. According to the WWF, there are 5 major species of the Rhino. Their numbers tell a tragic story:

  • Black Rhino (Critically Endangered) – Around 5,000 still exist in 3 remaining subspecies. Repopulation efforts are ongoing in Namibia, South Africa and Kenya.
  • Greater One Horned Rhino (Vulnerable) - With only around 3,000 of this species remaining, conservationists are working with local authorities in Nepal, Bhutan and parts of India to improve anti-poaching measures.
  • Javan Rhino (Critically Endangered) - Only 60 Javan Rhinos remain, though efforts are being made to expand the species beyond the single, secluded island where they are currently protected.
  • Sumatran Rhino (Critically Endangered) - Conservations are focused on protecting the remaining 100 or so Sumatran Rhinos by prevention of encroachment.
  • White Rhino (Near Threatened) - Facing the brink of extinction a century ago, there are now more than 20,000 White Rhinos in existence.

Some rhino subspecies are already extinct

Sadly, the Western Black Rhino is already extinct. The declaration came from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2011. The Javan Rhino is also probably extinct, while the Northern White Rhino is seriously endangered. Only through proper conservation and repopulation can this trend be reversed.



What you can do about it

You can help by raising awareness and donating funds to Rhino conservation organization. This includes Pietersen's SORAI and fellow cricketer Mark Boucher's Rhinos in Safe Hands, an organization that micro-chips and tracks the movements of endangered Rhinos, as well as collecting DNA samples to help prosecute and prevent ivory trade. Closer to home, you can donate to the Taronga Conservation Society Australia that helps maintain the Rhino program at Western Plains Zoo.



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