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17th Jun, 2019

Safari Park Charging Forward For Rhino Conservation

Redditch Editorial 16th May, 2019

West Midland Safari Park will be hosting a special fundraising week during May half term, dedicated to the conservation of endangered rhinos.

Rhino Week will run from 25 May to 2 June and guests will be able to take part in a whole host of fun activities, whilst learning some interesting rhino facts and helping to raise funds for Save the Rhino International (SRI).

There will also be the chance to meet the Park’s Indian (also known as greater one-horned) rhinos, during an exclusive Rhino Conservation Evening on 30 May. Michaela Butorova and Jack Bedford, SRI’s Partnerships Manager and Fundraising Officer, will be giving a fascinating talk about the plight of rhinos and the important work the charity does to save these endangered animals.

Following the talk, guests will be taken to the Indian Rhino House to meet and feed the Park’s three charismatic Indian rhinos, Rap, Seto and Sunanda.

Research and Conservation Officer, Katie McDonald, said, “Rhino conservation is more important than ever at the moment. Levels of poaching of rhino for their horns are at high levels and the amount of habitat available to rhinos is shrinking. Dedicated conservation organisations, such as Save the Rhino International, are working to prevent the worldwide population of rhinos from decreasing overall.

She continued, “Many different measures combined – employing anti-poaching rangers, running breeding sanctuaries, protecting habitat and educating people to stop them purchasing rhino horn – are making a positive difference. However, it really is make or break time. Two of the five species of rhino – Javan and Sumatran rhino, have wild populations with fewer than 80 individuals. Once numbers are down this low a single disease outbreak could result in extinction.

“769 rhinos were killed by poachers in South Africa alone last year. Everyone who cares about wildlife wants to stop the cruelty to animals and the threats to the species. This is why we are asking our guests to help to support two important rhino conservation projects, through fundraising for Save the Rhino International, during Rhino Week.”

During the week-long event, guests will be able to visit a Rhino Information Station where they can see some rhino artefacts, find out what the Park’s rhinos eat, learn about the eleven rhinos at the Park and enter a competition to win a cuddly toy rhino.

There will also be a photo competition where guests can compare their height with white rhinos Ailsa and Granville, then post it on the Park’s Facebook page for a chance to win a Safari Park Family Annual Pass.

Additionally, people can even get involved with the fundraising from the comfort of their own sofa by visiting www.wmsp.co.uk/rhinofund. Everyone who donates £5 or more to the Park’s JustGiving page, will be entered into a draw to win a ‘Money can’t buy VIP Rhino Experience’.

Rhino Week activities are included as part of the standard admission charge of £24.00 for adults, £19.00 for children aged 3-15 and £22.00 for concessions. Children under the age of three are free of charge. Admission includes a Free Return Ticket. Adventure Theme Park rides are charged extra.

Tickets for the Rhino Conservation Evening are £40 for the talk and to meet the Indian Rhinos, or attend just the talk for £5. Visit http://www.wmsp.co.uk/wmsp-events/rhino-week and follow the link for the ‘Save the Rhino Evening’. Profits from ticket sales, donations, competitions and all the funds raised during Rhino Week will go directly to Save the Rhino International.

Further information and tickets are available from the Park’s website or by telephone 01299 402114. Find out more on the Safari Park’s official Facebook page.

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