Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Handing over

"It's a simulation - but it's real." This afternoon we stood on a windy hilltop and watched the ZAP-Wing aerial surveillance team show us what they do when poachers are spotted within the reserve. It was short and sharp, just like the real thing, but without the danger of sudden death on both sides - something park rangers live with every day and especially every night. Lawrence was blunt: "We shoot to kill."

Every speaker at this first World Youth Rhino Summit has been absorbing and inspiring in very different ways: Dr William Fowlds, Kingsley Holgate, Paula Kahumbu, Peter Moll, even little Jules Murray, aged 11 and responsible for raising R100,000 for the cause.

And then there was Dr Ian Player, who rescued the white rhino from certain extinction more than 50 years ago. He's now old and frail, but still able to hold 300 people spellbound with his passion, conviction and inspiration. Today he passed the baton to the young people. They will carry it.

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