KwaZulu-Natal Celebrates 2014 World Wildlife Day

Consul General Taylor Ruggles with members of the KZN NGO community at the celebration of World Wildlife Day
Consul General Taylor Ruggles with members of the KZN NGO community at the celebration of World Wildlife Day

The U.S. Consulate General Durban in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) started its celebration of World Wildlife Day on February 11 by hosting a roundtable discussion on wildlife trafficking in for visiting Director of Southern African Affairs Ms. Christine Elder. Members of the KZN NGO community, Ezemvelo Wildlife KZN, KZN Wildlife Crime Working group, and Project Rhino KZN discussed their concerns regarding the increase in wildlife trafficking in KZN.

On February 12, the Consul General joined the Kingsley Holgate Foundation, Airports Corporation of South Africa (ACSA), Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, and Project Rhino KZN to unveil uPhondo loBhejane (the horn of the rhino) – a permanent rhino art display donated by Barrows (Durban-based retail marketing specialists). The 4m high rhino horn and ‘boma’ is decorated with information on the rhino poaching crisis and hundreds of rhino art examples from children in South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland.

Desks, rhino art pages and crayons allow children visiting King Shaka International Airport to also add their messages of support against rhino poaching. Children who participated in the art project also joined in the celebration. The Consul General also took the opportunity to sign Mr. Kingsley Holgates iconic Land Rover – a vehicle he has led on numerous wildlife and humanitarian expeditions.

On March 7, the U.S. Consulate Staff will continue to celebrate World Wildlife Day by volunteering at the Centre for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife.