On September 22nd, 2012, the third annual World Rhino Day was celebrated, with over a dozen countries participating!
World Rhino Day brought NGOs, zoos, rhino sanctuaries, and concerned citizens across the globe together to raise awareness and funds for the five species of rhinoceros — all of which are under threat from the illegal rhino horn trade.
World Rhino Day was initiated by WWF in 2010 and has since become a global phenomenon. Here’s a look at some of the World Rhino Day 2012 success stories:
All of the Sumatran rhinos enjoyed a special basket of treats, prepared by their keepers.
To mark World Rhino Day, Save the Rhino International in London held its very first wine tasting event! 60 people enjoyed a fascinating evening, with Neil from Linton Park Wines delivering an informative talk about the seven different wines he had brought for guests to taste.
At the event, the work of Save the Rhino was introduced and guests took part in a rhino myth-buster quiz to help raise awareness. The event was kindly hosted by Vivat Bacchus restaurant, London Bridge.
In Hanoi, Education for Nature-Vietnam joined CITES Vietnam, the US Embassy in Vietnam and other wildlife protection organizations, in a World Rhino Day ceremony. Hunting, illegal trade, and rhino horn consumption led to extinction of the Javan Rhino in Vietnam in 2010, and now Vietnam is one of the main markets contributing to the killing of rhinos elsewhere, especially in South Africa.
Within the framework of this event, ENV held a small wildlife trade exhibit with information boards and banners. The general message of the exhibit was to stop consumption and trade of rhino horn, as well as other wildlife.
In Harare, Zimbabwe, citizens gathered for musical entertainment and a parade, where they marched from Town House to Africa Union Square. Zimbabwe’s Minister of Environment addressed the crowd, saying that 2012 was special in that it was dedicated to the Year of the Rhino and should inspire co-operation for rhino conservation amongst countries, governments, private sector and individuals.
As in previous years, South Africa went all out for World Rhino Day, with multiple events organized by concerned citizens, businesses, and conservation groups. Acting Head of Communications at South African National Parks (SANParks), Paul Daphne, said, “World Rhino Day is an opportunity to highlight the efforts being made to fight the scourge of rhino poaching around the world and to debunk the myths and reduce the demand for rhino horn.”
Skydive for Rhinos is an African Conservation Trust (ACT) initiative with the objective of raising R10 Million for on-the-ground, verifiable Rhino conservation and anti-poaching efforts in South Africa.
Another popular event in South Africa was the Rhino Run.
The Rhino Run was a huge success, with all 5 runs going off well around South Africa on Saturday. We had complete weather extremes, from pouring rain in Gauteng, to light rain in Cape Town and PE and Durban, to blistering heat (32C in the shade) in Mpumalanga, but a great time was had by all. We had somewhere between around 1700 runners in total country wide.
Meanwhile in Namibia, Sue Wagner from Save the Rhino Trust reports that World Rhino Day was “Amazing!”
I have been blown away by the phenomenal support of local people and businesses. Close to 30 different businesses gave us gift vouchers and prizes for our event and many were also represented at the function. In short, I would say, a successful SRT event that raised immeasurable awareness on World Rhino Day as well as some significant funding.
Kids from three schools — The International School of Walvis Bay, Private School Swakopmund and Namib Primary — took to the streets of Swakop, wearing masks and carrying posters and, in just over two hours, raised close on to N$ 6000 (US $728)!
Rhino Travels and Rhino Media & Communication in Guwahati, Assam, India, hosted a thought provoking presentation on the conservation of Rhinoceros in the different parts of the world: Current Challenges in Conservation of Rhinos in Rhino Range Countries.
The Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya hosted an entire “rhino week” and provided local residents a chance to get into the conservancy for free and see rhinos. On World Rhino Day, Ol Pejeta partnered with Laikipia Wildlife Forum to host a cycling with the rhino competition to raise awareness in Laikipia.
There was a huge turnout with over 100 participants cycling. Children also had a painting competition depicting rhinos and different messages.
Also in Kenya, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy took high school students from one of the Lewa sponsored schools on a game drive round the Conservancy, where they had the amazing opportunity to see a family of white rhinos lazing around by the roadside.
A rhino fact quiz was held, and the winner received a beautiful autographed coffee table book.
Nepal’s World Rhino Day was celebrated with grassroots coordination between the Mrigakunja Buffer Zone User Committee, Prakriti Pathsala Network Jhuwani Resource Center, and Save the Rhino Foundation Nepal.
Student drawing and essay competitions on rhino conservation were held, with “The Role of Students in Rhino Conservation” as the essay focus. In addition, an Educational Toolkit covering all five rhino species was distributed to participants. Local media coverage was extensive, and included Radio Chitwan, Beso Television, Chitwan Khabar, the Chitwan Post, the Pardarsi Daily, and the Kayakairan Daily.
At Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, NSW, Australia, funds were raised for the International Rhino Foundation from the “Jump for Rhinos!” at the Jumping Castle on Saturday, and from Rhino Trail keeper talks, the keeper cookie sales, from a behind-the-scenes tour given to the Dubbo Field Naturalists group, and a little bucket shaking at the visitor plaza.
Funds were also raised with Munch Mobile rhino cookie sales (“Munch for Rhinos!”), donation buckets at the gift shop and ticketing desk, and Zoofari tours and framed print sales.
Rhino Internet sponsored a fundraiser at the Phoenix Zoo in honor of World Rhino Day, and sold custom designed t-shirts — with all proceeds going to the rhinos.
The Rhino Internet team was onsite at the Phoenix Zoo with keepers, visiting the white rhino Half-Ear, and helping to raise awareness about rhinos.
Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, Texas, held an awareness-raising event featuring keeper talks, hands on activities, and t-shirt sales to benefit rhino conservation.
Visitors also purchased raffle tickets to win a chance to meet Cameron Park Zoo’s resident rhinos, Babe and Jabba!
At Zoo Basel in Switzerland, a special information booth was set up to call attention to the urgent need to protect rhinoceroses. Zoo Basel uses a portion of proceeds from admissions to support an in situ project in India.
Federal Air placed a World Rhino Day badge on its website
Edinburgh Zoo held a number of special rhino activities for kids, including coloring, making a rhino mask, and being a “rhino ranger” to identify either Bertus or Samir, the Zoo’s greater one-horned rhinos.
Please join rhino supporters around the globe for World Rhino Day 2013! In the meantime, check out additional photos and events on the World Rhino Day Facebook page!
Continuing the battle
The battle to protect rhinos from rhino horn syndicates, wildlife traffickers, and corrupt elements continues. South Africa’s rhino death toll for 2012 reached 381 two weeks ago, with some sources claiming that the figure is now closer to 400.
The Horns and Heroes Project will celebrate World Rhino Day with an art show and auction at Sip in downtown Orlando, featuring live music and original work from more than three dozen local artists.
The participating painters, tattoo artists, sculptors, graffiti artists, illustrators, photographers and special-effects artists have embellished oversized sculptural representations of a rhino horn, each in their own unique style. These sculptures will be on display for one night only, and visitors can bid during the silent or live auctions.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the International Rhino Foundation, which operates programs in Asia and Africa to protect threatened rhino populations and funds research on captive rhinos to improve the long-term survival of the planet’s rhino species.
“By supporting the International Rhino Foundation, The Horns and Heroes Project will help fund programs that help supply the courageous and dedicated rangers who risk their lives everyday to stop poaching and give rhinos a chance at survival,” said organizer Chad Harmon. “We’re displaying work from some outstanding, creative people, and we hope their art will help start a conversation about how we can help protect these species.”
A rhino keeper at Disney’s Animal Kingdom who is a visual artist in his spare time, Harmon said he is organizing the art show and auction as a way to help protect a species he loves while also bringing together the local art community.
Harmon made each of the 40 horns by hand using a process known as rotational casting. The pieces are made of foam-filled resin and stand 16 inches tall and 7 inches wide.
The Horns and Heroes event begins at 8 p.m. at Sip, located at 724 Virginia Drive, Orlando.
On the weekend of World Rhino Day (22 September), Skydive for Rhinos hits Cape Town.
SABC Morning Live have will be conducting their entire Saturday (World Rhino Day) show from the Skydive for Rhinos event and presenter Vaylen Kirtley will be skydiving for rhinos. There will be a pre-event broadcast on Friday (21 September) to showcase what everyone who participated in the Rustenburg, KZN and Port Elizabeth events have done for South Africa’s rhinos.
Ordinary South Africans from 16 to 77 years of age have come forward and are making a statement with Skydiving for Rhinos!
What’s it like to Skydive for Rhinos? Check out the video:
Check out what people in Australia and New Zealand are doing for World Rhino Day! Join them if you can!
Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo is holding a number of fundraising and awareness activities, including donation buckets at special keeper talks for visitors and Zoofari Lodge guests, a ‘palm-print rhino’ art work installation and more. Funds raised will be donated to the International Rhino Foundation.
Auckland Zoo is celebrating rhinos with rhino chalk drawings, rhino hat giveaways, rhino activity sheets, a display of rhino food and enrichment, rhino encounters, and competitions.
Hosting your own World Rhino Day event? Click here to add it to the official World Rhino Day event map!
Check out what people in Europe are doing for World Rhino Day! Join them if you can!
Save the Rhino International is holding a “World Wino Day” wine tasting event at Vivat Bacchus restaurant, London Bridge, from 5-7 PM on Saturday, 22 September.
Knowsley Safari Park is hosting “Blow Your Horn for Rhinos” — a family event to support “Save the Rhinos” that will include live music, food, cocktails, and chances to win prizes. The party will get started on Saturday, 1 September at 6 PM.
The Three Wine Men will be holding an awareness-raising events at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London on 20 & 21 September. A portion of proceeds made on tickets will be donated to Save the Rhino International, when tickets are purchased using the code: 3WINERHINO.
Rhino Ark — a Kenya-based conservation organization — will be holding the first-ever “Rhino Safari Run” on World Rhino Day (22 September) at the Pippingford Park estate in East Sussex. The non-competitive 4×4 event will also be offering guided tours of the grounds and its wildlife to families with 4x4s.
Port Lympne Wild Animal Park will be making a fuss about some of its largest residents on Saturday to mark the official Rhino and Elephant Appreciation Day. A host of activities will be going on around the park such as tours of the elephant and rhino houses, a raffle to win prizes including a Keeper For The Day Experience. All proceeds raised will go towards Wildlife Alliance — a conservation organisation with close ties to The Aspinall Foundation.
Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland will be hosting several World Rhino Day activities on 22 September — including rhino arts and crafts, a “rhino wordsearch”, a rhino ranger game for kids, as well as education about the five rhino species and their plight. It will take place in the Rainforest Room of the Zoo’s Education Centre from 11 AM – 4 PM. Stay connected via Edinburgh Zoo’s Facebook page and Twitter account!
Navasta Communications will be holding an “I Will Be Your Voice” Nyama Choma (Kenyan style BBQ) lunch on 9 September at 1 PM. The event will take place at 3Stones Kenyan Restaurant (The Hague) and funds raised will be donated to Chipembere Rhino Foundation.
At Zoo Basel in Switzerland, a special info stand calling attention to the urgent need to protect rhinoceroses will be set up and animal keepers will be near the rhinoceros enclosure to offer information from 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm! Zoo Basel contributes a portion of its admissions to rhino conservation efforts in India.
Hosting your own World Rhino Day event? Click here to add it to the official World Rhino Day event map!
Are you looking for ideas about how to celebrate World Rhino Day on September 22nd?
Here are a few ideas from previous World Rhino Days to get your creative juices flowing!
Organize a parade
The Zimbabwe National Parks hosted an amazing parade and celebrations for World Rhino Day 2011! Music played a pivotal role in the event. The parade was led by the police band. The celebration was enriched by the nation’s favourite musician, Oliver Mutukudzi, who had dignitaries and crowds bopping for rhinos!
Students also performed their own song “Join Hands to Save the Rhino” with youthful free-style spoken word.
The Minister of Environment, Francis Nhema, gave an inspirational speech demonstrating Zimbabwe’s commitment to rhino conservation and strongly promoting the message “Rhino Horn is NOT Medicine”.
Zimbabwe schoolchildren enjoyed a video of “The Rhino Song” and celebrated World Rhino Day with art, videos and creative writing.
Take it to the streets
In London, Save the Rhino International took it to the streets and held a peaceful protest in front of the Vietnamese Embassy. Wearing rhino costumes and carrying placards, the team showed off jars of human toenails, to emphasize the fact that consuming rhino horn has no more medicinal value than chewing a toenail.
Photos from Save the Rhino International’s event can be seen here.
And of course, there was a ton of support for South Africa’s iconic pachyderms on World Rhino Day.
An enthusiastic gathering in Cape Town attracted hundreds of people, thanks to the efforts of Rhino Africa Safaris and other local businesses.
Rhinos on the airwaves
In Nepal, Partnership for Rhino Conservation (PARC/Nepal) arranged a TV and radio broadcast to celebrate the country’s first World Rhino Day in 2011.
Learn more about the grassroots organization PARC/Nepal here.
Hold an art contest and auction
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Texas celebrated World Rhino Day by hosting an art contest for local schoolchildren, and selling the art on September 22nd at Hollywood and Vine restaurant in Glen Rose.
All proceeds from the art show and a portion of the proceeds from the dinners served on World Rhino Day went to Fossil Rim’s rhino program!
TRAFFIC Southeast Asia featured rhinos throughout the month of September for its social media campaign.
Links to download the Javan and Sumatran rhino posters can be found here.
Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV), a local NGO, launched an online campaign for World Rhino Day on the ENV Volunteer Network page on Facebook, which is in Vietnamese.
An article about rhino conservation and World Rhino Day (“Hưởng ứng ngày quốc tế bảo vệ Tê giác”) which discourages the use of rhino horn – pointing out that it is both unnecessary and illegal – is posted on the page. Read it here.
In addition, an album entitled “Sừng tê giác không phải thuốc trị bệnh” (“Rhino horn is not medicine”) featuring Vietnamese language posters was created. URLS for downloading the posters are included. View the album here.
Go climb a rock!
The Asian Rhino Project in Australia raised funds with a “Rock Climbing for Rhinos” event. Participants tested their skill in the indoor comfort of Rockface in Perth, and also enjoyed a barbecue.
Why aren’t all organizations working together on one event? Cause-related organizations, NGOs, zoos, and members of the public are encouraged to celebrate World Rhino Day in their own unique ways. These activities will vary greatly from one participant to the next. Donors and partners can contribute to the organizations and initiatives of their choosing. Classroom projects, fundraising dinners, auctions and poster displays are just a few examples. Keep us posted on your plans!
Our organization is holding a fundraising event for rhinos in September, but it’s not on World Rhino Day itself. Does this count as a World Rhino Day celebration? Yes! Most any promotional or fundraising event for rhinos during the month of September can be a World Rhino Day celebration!
How do we register our World Rhino Day event? Please send your information and images to: info (at) worldrhinoday (dot) org and we’ll add it to the World Rhino Day website. If you have already blogged your event or added it to your website, post the link to the World Rhino Day page on Facebook® at facebook.com/WorldRhinoDay
What is the purpose of the World Rhino Day page on Facebook®? The World Rhino Day page is set up as a centralized online information source where participants can receive updates and share plans for the Big Day. The Twitter hashtag is #worldrhinoday
But I’m just one person – what can I do to help? One person can help make an impact, thanks to the reach of social media. Sharing information via social media is a critical component for raising public awareness. Anyone can select an article or a cause to share across their own social networks, which can have a trickle up effect on traditional media. How about sharing a dozen rhino-related links across your social networks on World Rhino Day (#worldrhinoday)?
For inspiration and ideas, check out the World Rhino Day 2011 video: