Save This Rhino
Australian documentary Save This Rhino, with Outback Wrangler Matt Wright and cricketrs Kevin Pietersen and Graeme Smith profiles the world’s critically endangered rhinoceros population in South Africa, on National Geographic.
At the centre of the real-life story are the courageous men and women fighting this conservation war, including Petronel Nieuwoudt, founder of Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary NPC, a not-for- profit organisation dedicated to the care and recovery of orphaned and injured baby rhinos.
The series also highlights the military-style operations that have been set up to oversee the safety of the local rhino population in their native habitat in the Kruger National Park, where 70% of South Africa’s 25,000 or so rhino reside. It’s a prime target for poachers on the hunt for rhino horn – the most expensive commodity on the black market – and is the scene of 32 rhino kills per month.
Their efforts could soon be amplified by new high-tech solutions being pilot tested in the wild to create what could be the future of conservation – a non-invasive technique that tracks humans, not animals.
The series highlights how a combination of long-distance radios, magnetic sensors, acoustic fibre, CCTV, PTZ and Infrared cameras is helping to stop poachers in their tracks. The pilot deployment of this Connected Conservation solution, developed by Cisco and Dimension Data, has helped a private game reserve enjoy more than 436 days with not one rhino killed.
As Matt Wright explains, it is these kinds of solutions, along with empowerment of the local community, that can help save the world’s rhinoceros population: “As a conservationist, filming this series reinforced my belief in the importance of protecting the environment. Rhinos are one of Africa’s ‘Big Five’ and imagining a world without them is almost beyond comprehension. And yet it’s a frighteningly close reality.
“The work that is being done to save rhinos from extinction is nothing short of awe-inspiring, and I truly believe that the passion of the local community, combined with the technology being implemented, will shift the dial for rhinos. Hopefully this series also encourages the Australian community to act and support the cause.”
Kevin Pietersen echoes: “Creating this documentary was a truly eye-opening experience, and I hope it inspires viewers to contribute to the global conservation effort. Now is the time to create change.”
Produced by Australian filmmakers at THIS. Film Studio, Save This Rhino will premiere in the lead up to the Cricket World Cup, airing on National Geographic in two parts on Tuesday 23rd and Tuesday 30th April at 8.30pm AEST.
To learn more about Care for Wild and to donate to the cause, visit savethisrhino.com
8.30pm Tuesday April 23 & 30 on National Geographic.