Media Release: Unitrans VW & Audi equip Addo Rangers in battle against poaching
Date: 2012-05-28Friday, 25 May 2012 - Unitrans Volkswagen & Audi handed over R500 000 worth of equipment to the Addo Elephant National Park Rangers which will assist in equipping them to battle any poaching attempts that may come their way. The sponsorship was facilitated by the SANParks Honorary Rangers, a group of volunteers who raise funds and provide services in support of South African National Parks (SANParks).
The handover, which took place at Addo’s Main Camp, saw equipment such as binoculars, tents and sleeping bags, backpacks and chest webbing handed over to the Park rangers.
Rangers will use the equipment during day and night patrols aimed at preventing potential poachers from entering the Park.
The much-needed equipment comes at a time when the countrywide rhino poaching crisis has resulted in a battle led by various conservation and law enforcement authorities against the poaching syndicates. Figures issued by the Department of Environmental Affairs earlier this week confirmed a total of 220 rhinos killed illegally since the beginning of 2012. During this same period, 146 suspects have been arrested for crime related to rhino poaching.
Unitrans Volkswagen & Audi has also sponsored various monitoring systems in Addo Elephant National Park, including cameras, which are placed in field to detect threats to wildlife in the Park. The sponsorship also covers helicopter flying time to aid monitoring of the park’s wildlife.
At the handover, some of Addo Elephant National Park’s 88 rangers demonstrated their patrolling skills. The sponsorship also covers advanced training for selected rangers over the next few years to ensure they have the most superior abilities to target any threats.
The handover forms part of the ongoing national sponsorship agreement between Unitrans Volkswagen & Audi and the SANParks Honorary Rangers, which was officially launched in September 2011. For each new and used vehicle retailed at the 13 participating Unitrans Volkswagen & Audi dealerships, R500 is donated to assist counter-poaching efforts in SA National Parks.
Photo attached: From L to R: Linda Joyce of Unitrans, John Turner of the SANParks Honorary Rangers and Norman Johnson Addo Elephant National Park Manager with the anti-poaching equipment.
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