News

R75,000 Raised - and safely avoided the Croc!

Posted on: Thursday, July 03, 2014

We're pleased to announce that the dare-devil, crazy Rhino fundraiser Jay Azran, general manager of the Swazi Royal Jozini Big 6 Game Reserve- who literally put his life on his line to raise money for Rhino Project KZN, made it across the 2.5km Jozini Dam last week - alive, in one piece (the dam is full of crocs and tiger fish!), and having completed a fantastic achievement.

With game reserves in KZN close to the Swaziland border under continual and increasing attack from rhino poaching gangs, Jay’s chosen partner was Project Rhino KZN, an 18-member conservation group that is active in the Zululand region, assisting anti-poaching efforts in 26 provincial, private and community-owned game reserves. 

Pictured above is the events biggest sponsor, the Royal Jozini Private Big 6 estate in Swaziland. To date, R75,000 has been raised, but as more come forward to pledge their support for Project Rhino KZN that figure is likely to rise. 

Following his big swim Jay commented, “The swim went well, the support for the event was fantastic and I would like to thank all who attended especially the 8 support boats with crew from both Swaziland and South Africa: having them there definitely took my mind off the presence of crocodiles and hippos.”

Project Rhino KZN representatives who crossed the border last Saturday to show their support to Jay came from Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, WESSA, the Game Rangers Association of Africa, the Lawrence Anthony Earth Organisation, African Conservation Trust, Wildlife ACT and Space for Elephants.

Whilst Jay’s fundraising efforts for rhinos in KwaZulu-Natal deserve every accolade possible according to Sheelagh Antrobus, Project Rhino KZN Coordinator, what is equally important is the forging of cross-border friendships against a common enemy.

“Rhino poaching can no longer be viewed as a problem that can be handled at a provincial or even national level. We are dealing with internationally-funded criminal syndicates who are driving a wildlife insurgency across the whole of southern and central Africa. They take no notice of country borders or laws. Every African country that has a history of good conservation practice - built on decades of blood, sweat and tears - and which now relies on tourism revenue from the ‘Big 5’ as a key economic driver, is at serious risk.

Jay says his wife Ruth and children Jordana (6) and Kaden (2) were very supportive prior to his Jozini swim. “But we are all relieved that it is over. I must thank our main sponsor SA Fence & Gate who contributed R20,000.00 towards Project Rhino KZN as well as our sub sponsors CSI International, Barloworld Pinetown, Kulu-Crete, Hazcall 24 and all those individuals who made personal pledges.’’

A guaranteed 100% of all proceeds will be donated to Project Rhino KZN and will be used for direct anti-poaching and rhino conservation strategies that are approved by all 18 member organisations.

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