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Eco-tourism company, andBeyond, has reaffirmed its commitment to assist the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) in protecting the rhino population. This as the companydonated rhino protection equipment worth about P500 000 to the department meant to ease deployed officers’ anti-poaching missions. The equipment includes among others Nikon cameras, infrared cameras, GPs, tents and desk top computers.
In the same spirit, the company has also in November last year donated a drone worth P200 000 to the department used to address poaching and human wildlife conflict.
andBeyond Managing Director for Southern Africa, Jason King said the donation also indicates their commitment to supporting their Rhino Without Borders project in which they have previously translocated a number of rhinos from high risk poaching areas in South Africa to comparative safety in Botswana’s southern of the Okavango Delta.
The project which was a joint fundraising and implementation initiative between andBeyond, Great Plains Conservation and the Botswana Government was aimed at ensuring the survival of rhino by creating viable breeding populations of the species.
“We had an idea that we should help create another viable population of rhino outside South Africa so that when things don’t work out in that country at least we will have more viable population spread around Africa that could repopulate to save the extinction of rhino,” King explained the main idea behind the translocation.
Government would later move the rhinos out of the Okavango Delta after a surge in poaching that saw a high number of the endangered animals killed in 2019 and 2020.
“It’s our honour to handover the equipment to DWNP to make lives of officers deployed easier and hopefully keep the rhinos as safe as they could be so that we all realise the dream of another viable population, and that one day when things settle down we could realise the dream of the animals being re-released into the wilderness,” King said.
The Managing Director assured that they will always continue to support DWNP whichever way they can since as a company they stand for the care of the land, wildlife and people.
For his part, Moemi Batshabang, acting director of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, appreciated the relationship the department has with andBeyond noting that it is of great assistance when it comes to wildlife management.
He thanked that the equipment will help them a lot in the fight against rhino poaching the country is faced with, further appreciating the company for the previous drone donated which he said have been put it to good use to protect rhinos.