Proteas

Morkel, Miller bat for rhinos

2012-11-28 13:45
Albie Morkel (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Proteas and Titans all-rounder Albie Morkel and his national team-mate and Dolphins batsman David Miller will go out to bat for South Africa’s endangered rhino population during their respective upcoming Momentum One Day Cup games.

Morkel and Miller’s cricket bats will bear the SAB-Boucher Conservation Non-Profit Company (NPC) logo. The NPC was founded by the South African Breweries (SAB) and former international cricketer, Mark Boucher, earlier this year, to raise funds critically needed to register all of South Africa’s 18 000 rhinos on a national Rhino DNA database run by the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria’s Onderstepoort.

On retiring from international cricket, Boucher made a commitment to contribute to the fight against rhino poaching in his role as SAB’s Castle Lager Rhino Ambassador.

His friends and former team-mates, Morkel and Miller, have supported his move to speak out against the senseless slaughter of SA’s rhinos.

“I’m really touched that Albie and Dave will be carrying the SAB Boucher logo on their bats. Albie, who goes to the bush as often as his cricket schedule allows, was instrumental in driving my passion for conservation and he and I look forward to working on many conservation projects together in the future.

“Dave is an incredibly talented player and someone I believe will be a consistent performer for the Proteas in the future. His support for this rhino project is greatly appreciated,” says Boucher.

Morkel described Boucher as “a great friend and former team-mate, with whom I have shared many good times, both on and off the field” and said he was “happy to support him in this vitally important cause”.

To up and coming Proteas player Miller, Boucher was a “hero and a mentor”. “What he is doing for the rhinos is admirable and I am really honoured to support the NPC.”

More than 580 rhinos have been poached this year alone, an approximate 40% increase on the previous year.

The RhoDIS database, of which SAB was one of the first corporate sponsors, was established in 2010 and assists law enforcement in tracking down poachers and syndicates preying on the country’s precious wildlife. To date, the system has been used to successfully prosecute suspects of rhino poaching.

Mark Boucher and SAB aim to raise R1 million in its first year through its “Rhino in Safe Hands” campaign. SAB has donated R300 000 towards the set-up costs of the NPC to ensure that 100% of the money raised is put towards saving the rhino. A number of donations have been made by the public and prominent public figures and the SMS donation number was launched on Wednesday.

Patrons of the NPC are Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dr Ali Bacher, Dr Ian Player, former SANParks CEO Mavuso Msimang, Dr Vincent Maphai of SAB and Dr Richard Emslie, Scientific Officer of the IUCN SSC African Rhino Specialist Group.

Donations to the NPC can be made to:

Account name: SAB Boucher
Bank: Standard Bank
Account type: Current
Account number: 273377671
Branch code: 01 46 45 00
Swift code: SB ZA ZA JJ

To donate R10 to SAB Boucher, SMS the word “rhino” to 48800.

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