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Advocacy & Awareness Programme
Forever Wild - Rhino Protection Initiative

The Wilderness Foundation launched the Forever Wild – Rhino Protection Initiative in May, 2011.

The Campaign aims to gather support from the public and various stakeholders to help fight against rhino poaching in South Africa and save the rhino from extinction. "It is only through a GLOBAL campaign and POLITICAL will that we can save this remnant of the dinosaur age – the rhino," environmentalist and conservationist, Dr Ian Player.

In May 2011, the Wilderness Foundation set up a petition to voice the public's outcry over the cruelty of rhino poaching. The petition, which was taken to the highest governmental powers in March 2012, is a vital part of the Wilderness Foundation's lobbying campaign. It received over 18,000 signatures from around the world, and together with an integrated YouTube and social media campaign, generated worldwide awareness of the rhino poaching crisis.

The Wilderness Foundation’s executive director, Andrew Muir, took the petition to South African parliament on Thursday, 26 January 2012 where he addressed the portfolio committee on the topic of rhino poaching. He also delivered the devastating facts of the South African rhino poaching crisis to over 70 senior staff of US Senators and Congressmen who are members of the International Conservation Caucus (ICC) at an ICC Foundation hosted event in Washington, DC on Monday, March 05, 2012.

The Foundation continues to lobby various governmental and private agencies to raise awareness for the cause.

The Wilderness Foundation believes that without the intervention of government and the public, the rhino may be extinct in the next ten years.

In May 2012, the Foundation printed and distributed thousands of flyers and posters encouraging whistle blowers to come forward with information related to rhino poaching through a tip-off line (0786969494). "Someone knows someone who knows something!"


Rhino Facts:

  • South Africa is custodian to over 80% of the world's rhino.
  • In 2010 alone, 333 rhino were killed in South Africa by poachers for their horn. In 2011, 448 rhino were poached (more than one per day).
  • It has been proven that the horn has no medicinal value and is not a cure for cancer. However it is still sought after and mainly in the East.
  • The killing will only stop when the horror of it all is understood.

Rhino Sponsorship:

Click here for a full list of Forever Wild Supporters

VW Commercial Vehicles

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles

In June 2011, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles announced its sponsorship of six Volkswagen Amarok bakkies to the Rhino Protection Initiative. The R2-million sponsorship is part of the partnership between Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and the Wilderness Foundation, the pioneers and administrators of the Forever Wild Rhino Protection Initiative.

Jaco Steenekamp, General Manager: Sales and Marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: "Our sponsorship of the Forever Wild campaign is Volkswagen's contribution towards the fight against the poaching and preservation of the rhino population. We are confident that the smart but tough Amarok bakkie will be an ideal partner to the conservation agencies in combating poaching activities."

He added: "Our partnership with the Wilderness Foundation supports Volkswagen's 'Think Blue' philosophy which promotes cooperation with organisations that are environmentally conscious and work towards the sustainability of endangered species."

Click here to view the news story

Click here to connect to www.amarok.co.za

Ogilvy Cape Town

Through the help of Ogilvy Cape Town, the Wilderness Foundation set up an innovative petition to voice the public's outcry over the cruelty of rhino poaching. The petition includes a 'count-down to extinction' timer, and for every signature on the petition, a minute is added to the timer.

Another innovative approach to grabbing the public's attention is Ogilvy's YouTube clips "hijacking". For two weeks, the company created over 55 YouTube clips, remixed versions of each day's most frivolous trending videos (and some all time classics). "These Trojan Horses forced people who actively searched for these silly videos to confront the stark reality of how they were spending their time," says the Ogilvy blog. "With $0 spent, signatures have so far increased by almost 300%. And it's not over."

The petition was taken to US congress and, is a vital part of the Wilderness Foundation's lobbying campaign. To date, over 16,000 individuals have signed the petition, with comments including, "Don't let the human race be responsible for the extinction of yet another species!"


iThemba the Rhino story

Cape Town based children’s author, Linda “Lulu” Fellowes has penned a delightful children’s book to help raise awareness about the rhino poaching crisis in South Africa. She has donated 200 books to the Wilderness Foundation which will receive the proceeds from each book sold. The book is entitled iThemba, which is the Xhosa word for hope.Proceeds from the 200 donated books sold at R100 each will go towards the Wilderness Foundation’s Forever Wild Rhino Protection Initiative.The book can be purchased directly from the Wilderness Foundation: 11 Newington Street, Richmond Hill, Port Elizabeth. For orders, please call Christine: 041 373 0293. The cost of the book is R100 which does not include postage if books are ordered from outside Port Elizabeth.

Click here to


The video below shows a rhino from an Eastern Cape private game reserve which had its horn hacked off while it was still alive. Vets and wildlife managers tried in vain to save its life but the wounds were too severe and it had to be put down.

It is only through a GLOBAL campaign and POLITICAL will that we can save this remnant of the dinosaur age – the rhino.

This initiative is spearheaded by Dr Ian Player (founder) and Andrew Muir (CEO) of the Wilderness Foundation.


You can add further support to the Forever Wild campaign by downloading this letter and mailing it to your local political leader

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