Marching to the beat of the Zimbabwean Police Band, school children with banners saying “Rhino horn is not medicine” and “My horn belongs on my head” joined activists from the Ministry of Environment, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and various other groups concerned with conservation and animal welfare.
“The horror of what is, and has taken place over this past decade – the massacre of these magnificent beasts, through poaching and man’s greed of an old tradition, for just a moment melted away into the back recesses of my mind,” said a representative from Tikki Hywood Trust.
At Unity Square there was a wildlife display of mounted animals put on by Parks, a colourful marquee and impromptu performances by eminent musician and wildlife supporter, Oliver Mtukudzi!
More than 350 people gathered for the event at which the Minister of Environment Francis Nhema said:
“It is my singular honour to be here today to celebrate rhino day which marks the beginning of a new thrust in our efforts to promote the protection of the rhino. It is a celebration of successful conservation strategies implemented by various individuals, organisations and companies who are pulling their resources to conserve the rhino from poaching. The primary objective is to create awareness on the plight of the rhino and help stem illegal trade in rhino and rhino products worldwide.”
Time to act
Nhema added that it was a time to act, either by rigid law enforcement or death if need be, to show how “serious” Zimbabwe is in curbing this poaching, and strengthening the Intensely Protected Zones for the rhino.
“This was indeed a verbal confirmation of a solution already on everybody’s minds. A re-iteration of a policy that was already in place, but just simply needed to be dusted off and actioned by a collaboration of conservation effort. If ever Zimbabwe needed to stand together, it is now before it is too late for the rhino and other species alike,” said the Tikki representative.
The Tikki Hywood Trust is a project which will not only help secure the threatened population of rhinos and other lesser known endangered species, but it also creates awareness for them. The Trust aims to prevent such crisis management of Zimbabwe’s other endangered wildlife by initiating breeding projects and importing new blood strains to strengthen the genetic base of the existing populations.
For more information on the services offered by the Tikki Hywood Trust visit: http://www.tikkihywoodtrust.org/Post published in: Environment