SRI began working with BGP more recently when compared to some of the other rhino programmes we support, however we have been aware of the programme’s fantastic conservation work for many years through meetings of the African Rhino Specialist Group.
SRI became more involved in 2012, when Sporting Rifle magazine held a fundraising auction, from which £4,755 was raised for BGP. Sporting Rifle asked SRI to assist with the administration of this grant.
The money donated paid for new patrol bicycles and bullet proof vests for BGP’s rangers. Bicycles help to speed up the team’s reaction time to any poaching incidents, and at a time when poachers’ weapons are becoming increasingly more dangerous, bullet proof vests provide a vital lifeline for rangers when undertaking operations.
“It is especially important for Big Game Parks, Swaziland, to thank Mr Peter Carr of Sporting Rifle Magazine and its readers, various donors and bidders of the auction lots, as well as Save the Rhino International. BGP highly appreciates the support shown by this group of concerned public and is encouraged by the faith which has been shown in our rhino conservation work. Such generous contributions have gone a long way towards ensuring that Swaziland’s rhino rangers can go about their dangerous job more effectively and safely. We thank you all very much indeed!” – Mick Reilly
A second fundraising auction by Sporting Rifle raised £6,500 for the programme. This will be granted to BGP in 2014.
In September 2013 Save the Rhino’s Events Manager [Laura Adams] and SRI volunteer [Max Hoy] visited for two weeks. They assisted with data-entry and provided in-kind support for BGP’s marketing team.