Join Dr William Fowlds on September 18th 2013 as he hosts an inspirational lecture at the Royal Geographical Society, London, highlighting the plight of the rhino and his mission to protect these iconic creatures of South Africa and to raise funds for TUSK Trust & Born Free Foundation.
South Africa has been gripped by a massive surge in rhino poaching in recent years.
In 2007, 13 rhinos were poached.
In 2013 it estimated that 900 rhinos will be poached with almost three rhinos being killed every day.
Rhinos are poached for their horns which, according to some South East Asian countries, have healing capabilities and other medicinal uses and values.
Modern science has, however, proved that the horn carries absolutely no medicinal value and is, in fact, made up of the same protein, keratin, which is found in human fingernails.
Yet the demand for the product continues to increase.
Current international debate aimed at bringing an end to poaching include; legalising the rhino horn trade, dehorning rhinos, stricter law enforcement, decreasing demand through bans (it is illegal to trade in rhino horn through rules stipulated by CITES) or education, and an improved consolidated and collaborative approach by all stakeholders, the situation is becoming more critical by the day.
Fowlds is a South African veterinarian and star of ITV1’s Safari Vet School.
His day-to-day job includes darting lions, elephants and antelopes but last year he was called out to a harrowing situation, unlike anything he’d encountered before.
Overnight, three rhinos had been illegally darted using veterinary drugs and the poachers had brutally removed bone, skin and horn with either machetes or axes, leaving the rhinos for dead.
One rhino had in fact already died from its injuries but Themba, a male, and Thandi, a female were still alive when they were discovered the next morning.
So began a gruelling, heart-rending week of trying to save these two, huge and massively mutilated animals.
Decisions had to be made whether to euthanize them straight away or give them a chance.
Will was determined to try to save these rhinos.
This is his story.
Bear Grylls, who will offer an introduction to the lecture, said: “As the world’s population explodes, the wildlife on all seven continents is being negatively affected and their numbers are dwindling.
“I have chosen to support one such specie as a symbol for all animals in trouble around the world; the rhino in Africa.
“Will Fowlds’s story should be heard by all, his account of the tragic consequences of poaching and the hope that he holds for the future in his crusade to save the survivors of these criminal acts.”
Tickets cost £20 per person and include a complimentary drinks reception before the lecture.
To purchase tickets please take a look at the official website.