A group of children were educated on why rhinos were being dehorned during a visit to the Rietvlei nature reserve recently.
The non-profit organisation Paws4Africa hosted the outing on Wednesday.
It was aimed at educating the children on the fight against rhino poaching.
The 3 800ha Rietvlei nature reserve provided the children with the opportunity for a close encounter with rhinos.
Paws4Africa spokesperson Paula Kruger said the children were taught about the rhinos and the role they played in the wild.
The initiative took place in collaboration with private company Xtyle fitness.
It is aimed at children who are less fortunate and those who have difficulty learning.
“Together with the reserve we explained to the children why most rhinos have been dehorned and why it was necessary in the fight against poaching,” said Kruger.
She said the adults also ended up learning something from the kids.
Upon seeing some of the dehorned rhinos, the children noted that they did not look like rhinos anymore, according to Kruger.
“We explained to the best of our ability why it unfortunately had to be done. Their response to us was ‘we should not hurt the animals because they are beautiful’.”
Rhino poaching has been on the rise in the past few years, spurred on by false reports that their horns had medicinal properties.
Another focus of the initiative was encouraging the children not to keep any form of wildlife as pets.
Kruger said Paws4Africa would continue to educate the youth on wildlife conservation and the plight of rhinos.
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“The youth are our future and they deserve to love the same heritage which we did,” said Kruger.
Paws4Africa thanked the reserve and staff for assisting them educate the children.
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