We are often asked, “why the rhino?” While we have many answers specific to the rhinos themselves, we also think it’s important to highlight our impacts on people.
First and foremost, 6 of our 7 board members have careers in healthcare. When we hear about people paying astronomical amounts of money for a product with absolutely no medicinal value whatsoever, we believe it is our duty to educate them and stop the sourcing. We feel obligated to stop poaching of rhinos for their horn for the false belief that it has medicinal value because people are wasting time and money that could be spent on real treatment.
Our work provides jobs locally, nationally, and internationally. We order our shirts from a business local to us in Delaware County, PA. We bank locally. We hold our fundraisers in the Philadelphia area, providing business so far for the zoo and a restaurant. We order our candles from a wholesaler in New England – those folks made them and a shipping company got them to us. We order office and marketing supplies from U.S. businesses. Our medals for Run for Rhinos are coming from a New York business. We’ll be the featured charity on FLOAT in July and their Colorado –based employees are working on our campaign already. Our first partner, Great Plains Conservation, has U.S.-based employees. And of course we have an international impact with jobs. Sourcing and moving the rhinos requires teams of people in 2 countries – pilots, vets, mechanics, conservationists, drivers, government workers who issue the permits, and many others. Once the rhinos are moved, there are jobs monitoring them to ensure their well-being and safety.
We will have a second group of supporters visit the Great Plains camps this year. Those trips not only solidify our partnership by allowing us to spend time with the Great Plains team. They support the jobs of the guides, chefs, housekeeping, and other staff who run the camps. Of course there are the airlines and reservation agents who get us to our destinations.
Wildlife trafficking is linked to international crime including money laundering, arms trafficking, biosecurity threats, and human rights abuses. Wildlife products should not be a source of income for terrorist groups involved in these activities.
We don’t often pause enough ourselves to remember the trickle-down impacts that our work has. We hope our reflection on this aspect of our work is informative and inspirational for you, too. As always, we thank you for your support.