At the heart of Investec's values is our firm commitment to society and the environment. To demonstrate this commitment, Investec is responding to the plight of rhino poaching in South Africa by partnering with Dr William Fowlds through a conservation initiative, the Investec Rhino Lifeline.
Investec Rhino Lifeline aims to raise awareness of the rhino crisis and to respond through education, rescue and prevention initiatives. Investec Rhino Lifeline is a partnership with Dr Will Fowlds, a deeply passionate wildlife vet who has been exposed to the rhino crisis through his professional contact with rhino conservation projects and his first-hand experience in dealing with poached rhinos.
Investec Rhino Lifeline
- Investec Rhino Lifeline Initiative
- Why support the rhino?
- Why support Dr William Fowlds?
- Photos and Videos
Investec Rhino Lifeline Initiative
Why support the rhino?
The rhino is one of the most iconic species remaining on the planet. It’s a mega-herbivore and is among Africa’s most endangered. It occupies a significant place within our terrestrial environment. The rhino is a tangible link to our pre-historic past and a reminder of an era of species long extinct, which makes it a survivor in its own right.
As a result of a rampant trade on horns, rhinos are at the centre of a violent, well organised series of poaching attacks in South Africa.
The rhino's last stand
South Africa loses rhinos on a daily basis. The rhino crisis has become the most significant conservation issue faced by the country. Poaching attacks represent lawlessness, a lack of political will, human greed and disregard for the wellbeing of animals in spite of the most dramatic public response in our conservation history. The crisis has been multi-continental for over half a century, affecting many African and Asian countries. South Africa is now custodian of most of the world’s remaining rhino. We are the rhino’s last stand.
In 2011, South Africa lost over 448 rhino, 95% of them white rhino. The latest statistics indicate that the number of rhinos poached in 2012 stand at 668.*
* Figures from the Department of Environmental Affairs
Why support Dr William Fowlds?
Dr William Fowlds is a qualified vet who dedicates his time to championing the plight of the rhino through his veterinary and awareness initiatives, while exposing the desperate reality of poaching attacks to the global media. He has been involved in conservation related activities, wildlife management, eco-tourism and intervention programmes to improve the quality of veterinary care for critically injured rhinos for over a decade.
Apart from his South African veterinary network relating to wildlife, he has provided educational and training opportunities for students from vet schools representing all five continents to expose them to conservation issues within Southern Africa. Dr Fowlds also spearheaded educational safaris and television series highlighting the rhino crisis on NBC and ITV news, exposing the realities of poaching to the world, generating media awareness of this crisis and educational opportunities in consumer countries. His conservation focus has largely been in the Eastern Cape where he has served on project committees relating to wildlife and social development aspects of eco-tourism. His contact with the wildlife ranching aspects of conservation, the academic fraternity in Eastern Cape universities and management of nationally governed parks and provincially managed reserves gives him an extensive and multi-skilled network in conservation focused fields.
Dr Fowlds recently championed the rhino crisis by documenting a poaching attack on three rhinos at the Kariega game reserve in the Eastern Cape in March 2012. Two died and Dr Fowlds has documented the story of the slow rehabilitation of one of the three rhinos who survived this attack, as a means to raise awareness around anti-poaching and the illegal rhino horn trade.