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Skydive for Rhinos

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Published on Aug 29, 2011

Donate now!
Bank: Nedbank
Account Name: ACT Rhino Fund
Branch: Musgrave Centre, South Africa
Branch code: 130126
Account No: 1008662976

For International Payments:
Nedbank code: 198765
Swift Number: NEDSZAJJ

Skydive for Rhinos is the brainchild of the staff of the African Conservation Trust (ACT), who in May this year were moved beyond the point of outrage and spectatorship, to taking personal action regarding the slaughter of rhinos in South Africa.   It started small, with six women volunteering to skydive for the first time and in doing so, raise funds from their friends and family to improve anti-poaching efforts and increase public awareness of the increasing numbers of rhino being poached. But within a couple of weeks, the volunteer skydive group reached 40 and campaign went viral.
 
The jumpers came from all walks of life, all ages and race groups, with 20 ACT staff members making up the bulk of the skydiving team. Others who joined in were Jabulani Ngubane (Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife's Rhino Protection Officer) and Andrew Zaloumis (CEO, iSimangaliso Wetland Park) and concerned members of the public, including varsity students, entrepreneurs, a female helicopter pilot and even a couple of youthful grandmothers. What they had in common was an over-riding passion to halt  the extermination of a species that is intrinsic to South Africa's culture and heritage, voluntarily willing to put their own lives on the line for a  7 minute, 10,000ft skydiving feat that was a world-first in conservation circles.

Skydive for Rhinos took place on 13 August 2011 at Angels Way, Durban Skydive Centre's base in Eston, KwaZulu-Natal. It was an incredible day, made possible by a group of incredible people and supported by tens of thousands of people who backed this campaign. Some of the skydivers had never been in a plane before - yet they put aside their nerves, embraced this new experience...and then threw themselves out of perfectly functioning aircraft in a courageous show of support for rhinos! In just 10 weeks, these 40 people raised over R180,000 in cash from their friends and family and generated business 'in kind' support to the value of around R240,000. 100% of the funds raised are going to improve bona-fide but under-funded anti-poaching efforts in KZN, including aerial surveillance of threatened reserves, equipment for anti-poaching patrol, camera traps and micro-chipping  identification of vulnerable rhino.  In addition, a large cyber-tracking company approached us with an offer to donate their technology, and we're now planning to introduce this to those reserves that need this type of surveillance.




The campaign received excellent media coverage in all the major newspapers in KZN, as well as East Coast Radio and a number of magazines carried the story, including Africa Geographic and Wildside and a large number of online media websites. 
As of today, 276 rhino have been killed this year -- the latest being the tragic story of the Aquila rhino in the Western Cape and we at ACT will be continuing our efforts to raise funds for those on the front line of the rhino poaching crisis, in the coming months.  
We really hope that you will think favorably about helping to keep spreading the message and generating support. 
To make a donation you can visit ACT's website www.projectafrica.com (click on the skydiving rhino animation) or see www.facebook.com/skydiveforrhinos  - this page is also a conduit to a host of national initiatives and networks, trying to halt rhino poaching.

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