It has been a while since the former cricketer Kevin Pieterson has started batting for Rhino Conservation across the globe. As an active wildlife enthusiast himself, he thinks of India as a leader in animal conservation. He recently took to Twitter to congratulate PM Narendra Modi and wildlife conservationists in India for charting a massive decline in Rhino poaching last year. While quoting a report from Organiser, he wrote, “Bravo! Narendra Modi and bravo to all the men and women who sacrifice their lives in protecting the animals in India too. I’ve met lots of them and I respect you immensely!”
The one-horned Rhinoceros which is considered as the ‘Pride of Assam’ had witnessed a terrible decline in population after being killed by poachers, especially in the Kaziranga National Park. In a major achievement, the anti-poaching task force set up by the state government managed to bring down Rhino poaching cases in the state to only one last year. Earlier, Pieterson had lauded the Assam government’s decision to burn rhino horn piles with a view to ending poaching in Assam.
Thank you, @narendramodi! A global leader standing up for the planets rhino species!— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) September 23, 2021
If only more leaders would do the same.
And this is the reason why rhino numbers in India are rising exponentially!
What a hero! 🙏🏽 https://t.co/6ol4df0NpV
The successive BJP governments in Assam has been successful in clamping down on poaching of Rhinos in the state for its horn. While only one rhino was killed by poachers in 2021, the number was 2 in the previous year. In 2019, three rhinos were poached.
The credit of this success can be attributed to the Anti-Poaching Task Force (APTF), which was formed last year to end the menace of poaching in Assam. Chief of the task force GP Singh shared data of rhino poaching in the state for 22 years, which show that poaching had reached its peak in 2013 and 2014 during the two decades, and started to come down after that.
Kevin Pieterson : An ambassador for Rhinos
While Kevin retains his popularity in India as a cricketing maven, he has worn many a cap in wildlife conservation as well. He runs a foundation, SORAI an acronym for ‘Saving Our Rhinos Africa and India’ which empowers attempts of conservation of Rhino species across the continents. With a view to maintaining a balanced ecosystem for future generations, Kevin thinks the preservation of endangered species is the first step towards a sustainable future. Through this initiative and his touring national parks across the world, Kevin Pieterson has emerged as an ambassador for the cause of Rhinos.
In 2018, he started a Rhino-themed luxury resort in South Africa to create awareness for the endangered species in the continent. Realising that Rhinos face a great threat over poaching activities and horn smuggling across the world, he started SORAI in 2021. The initiative also has a sustainable merchandise label that raises funds for the cause as well as promotes eco-friendly fashion. Kevin has also partnered with National Geographic to shoot a docu-series ‘Save This Rhino: India’ which is premised around the Kaziranga National Park. Speaking about the series to The Hindu, Kevin said, “I want people to see, hear and understand how magnificent India is, how colourful the surroundings are and how engaging the story is,”
Kevin Pieterson while dedicating most of his time to the cause of Rhino Conservation, is really walking the talk on the individual front. The government of Assam has also been phenomenal in translating its policies and vision for the preservation of Wildlife over the years. It is about time we realise the challenges before the endangered wildlife cycles and take a step towards a sustainable future.