For as long as I can remember I’ve been passionate about wildlife and was determined that I would one day work with the beautiful, exotic animals I saw in the zoo like monkeys, tigers and even hyenas. Yes, you read that right – even hyenas, I’ve always had a love for the underdogs of the animal kingdom. Sometimes I didn’t know how much I loved a particular animal until I had an encounter with it, like snakes, tarantulas and rhinos.
During my days at college I had an amazing professor who at the time was working for World Wildlife Fund Canada and was a long time volunteer for the Toronto Zoo, and for one of our classes we headed to the zoo for a little behind the scenes tour. I was ecstatic! That tour ended up including a chance encounter with some of the zoo’s rhinos and left me with a lasting memory to this day that still makes me bubble over with happiness.
There I stood face to face with an over 2,000 pound, just over 5 feet tall beast with only bars between us – but I was caught up in her eyes, we stared at each other for what felt like an eternity. I moved closer, I was anxious with excitement but could feel her relaxed breathing. Then I reached out to stroke her ear which she clearly enjoyed as she tilted her head down so I could better reach. Then I rubbed behind her ear and melted – it was as soft as a baby’s skin and she seemed to relish in it. Turns out, her keeper told me later, it’s the softest spot on a rhino and she always loved a rub behind her ears.
What did I walk away from that experience with? I left feeling an amazing connection with an all too often brutalized beast, that rhino’s soft spot left a soft spot in my heart and from that day I have tried to do whatever I can to help save her cousins in the wild and promote the need for more action to stop poachers from killing them for their horns. That’s why I was so excited when I heard about the #JustOneRhino campaign. I’ve teamed up with over 120 bloggers to join forces with Global Travel Media and Travelers Building Change to help create awareness and raise $45,000 to help save #JustOneRhino.
One rhino is being poached every seven hours
and at this rate rhinos could go extinct in 20 years
Conservation advocates Derek and Beverly Joubert have launched Rhinos Without Borders through their Great Plains Foundation to save rhinos by trans-locating 100 rhinos from South Africa to Botswana to help protect them from poaching. The estimated cost of this initative is $5 million with an average cost of $45,000 for each rhino – hence the #JustOneRhino campaign.
By donating at the Travelers Building Change you can not only help save the life of #JustOneRhino but also have a chance to win some amazing prizes including the following epic trips of a lifetime.
International Expeditions http://www.ietravel.com/
10 day Galapagos Voyage for one. Value $5,298
Adventure Life www.adventure-life.com
South Africa Big Five Safari: Kruger & KwaZulu-Natal + Swag Bag for 2 people. Value $5,000
Cobblers Cove Hotel, Barbados http://www.cobblerscove.com/
7 nights bed & breakfast in Garden View suite. Value $5,187
Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa, Nicaragua www.littlecornhotel.com
10 nights’ stay & wellness package for 2 people at Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa on Little Corn Island, Nicaragua. Value $5,241
Secret Retreats www.secret-retreats.com
– Vouchers for 2 people at Bali Jiwa Villain in Bali, Indonesia. Value $1,000
– (2) Vouchers for 2 people at The Scent Hotel in Koh Samui, Thailand. Total Value $3,000 ($1,500 for each 2-person package)
– Vouchers for 2 people at 4 Rivers Floating Lodge, Koh Kong, Cambodia. Value $900
– Vouchers for 2 people at Flower Island, Palawan, Philippines. Value $900
Remember every little bit counts! I’ll be donating, will you?