BEHATI Prinsloo, Namibia’s own international supermodel, launched a global campaign to save the few critically endangered black rhinos still left in Africa from total extinction.
Prinsloo who grew up and went to school in Grootfontein has been in Namibia for the past two weeks busy entrenching herself in the conservation movement to protect and preserve the rhino population. She joined forces with Save The Rhino Trust Namibia in order to raise awareness for rhino conservation
Upon her return home she hit the ground alongside trackers from Save The Rhino Trust and Rhino Rangers from the Conservancy Rhino Ranger Incentive Program. While tracking rhinos on foot across rugged terrain and absorbing the effects of wildlife crime compounded by the drought, Behati gained a deeper understanding of the commitment needed to protect these critically endangered animals. .
“Namibia is my home. It’s the secret jewel of Mother Africa. It’s also one of the most amazing places in the world, and the rhinos contribute to this sense of wonder. I grew up here and it is where my parents still live so this cause is very close to my heart. The opportunity to come home to see what is happening, to meet people caring for orphaned black and white rhinos, and to work with the trackers, rangers and communities to raise awareness is very important to me. Someday, I want to bring my children to experience these animals in the wild. They’ve inspired us for generations; it’s on us to help them now,” Behati said.
With three African rhinos killed every day and their horns sold in Asian countries as ‘traditional medicine to cure impotence among men’, the south-western black rhino faces total extinction.
“We received enthusiastic support from our partners in conservation at B2Gold, Mt. Etjo Safari Lodge, Ongava Game Reserve, WestAir Aviation and Wilderness Safaris Namibia who helped to make this trip possible,” said Ginger Mauney, who pioneered the partnership under WWF in Namibia’s Rhino Innovation Fund.
Simson Uri-Khob, Chief Executive Officer of Save Rhino Trust, added, “This supports speaks to the level of excitement shared by all of us at SRT, Rhino Rangers and within local conservancies. We are thrilled to welcome Behati to our team and we know that her involvement will make a tremendous difference for rhinos and for Namibia.”
This was Behati’s first trip home in seven years and she said it provided an opportunity for her to chronicle this transformative journey in an effort to share the story of these incredible creatures and the amazing community of Namibians fighting for their survival.