Our beloved Ralston, the massive rhino that has been gracing the entrance of our store for the past month, is actually enjoying a well-deserved rest after returning from a rather spectacular journey ~ Ralston was the only rhino to take part in the 2019 World Youth Wildlife Summit held in the Kruger National Park last month.
The summit brought together 200 leading youth delegates from 16 nations, speaking more than 12 different languages, to discuss the crisis facing the world’s wildlife ~ a world-wide call-to-action by the youth against all forms of wildlife crime.
Ralston was (of-course) the centre of attention as he was ceremoniously decorated with colourful handprints by the youth delegates using Hall’s paints as a symbol of their commitment to battling the crisis of habitat destruction, illegal wildlife trade and as an affirmation of their promise to become ambassadors that influence policy and its implementation to reduce all forms of wildlife crime.
After an exciting adventure as our shining ambassador for rhino conservation, Ralston has returned to his prestigious spot at our entrance, where he continues to garner a huge amount of attention thanks to his beautiful new makeover.
So, if you’re in-store, you can too contribute to this worthy cause by dropping a few coins into the tins on our counters.
Wildlife Crime Facts
(Provided by 2019 World Youth Wildlife Summit)
The illegal wildlife trade is estimated at more than US$20 billion every year – the fourth most ‘profitable’ trans-national organised crime in the world after drugs, arms and human trafficking and it affects every level of society. Other criminal activities such as money laundering, corruption and fraud go hand-in-hand with wildlife crime.
Wildlife crime affects rural livelihoods and negatively impacts on tourism revenue and job opportunities, while wildlife poaching puts human lives at risk. It is estimated that over 1 000 park rangers have been killed in the line of duty over the past 10 years.
Impact of wildlife crime
Over 500 000 rhinos once roamed sub-Saharan Africa but now less than 25 000 remain. Rhino are targeted for their horns for use in traditional medicine or as a status symbol. In South Africa alone, over 9 000 have been slaughtered in the past 10 years. Asia’s rhino populations are even more at risk with alarming population statistics: Greater One-Horned Rhino – 3 500; Sumatran Rhino – less than 80, and the Javan Rhino – just 69 left.
In the 1800s, there were around 27 million elephants on the continent. Today, fewer than 415 000 remain. The two primary factors behind the decline of African elephants are the demand for ivory and changes in land-use which pose a serious threat to their survival. An estimated 20 000 African elephants are killed every year.
Pangolins are the most trafficked mammal in the world and are poached for their meat, which is seen as a delicacy and their scales, which are used in traditional Asian medicines. In 2014, an estimated two million African pangolins were confiscated from Asian ports, but many experts believe this represents only a small portion of this illegal trade.
The second largest feline predator in the world after the tiger, lions are now extinct in 26 African countries and only occur in the south Sahara Desert and in parts of southern and eastern Africa. Today, due largely in part to habitat destruction, human-wildlife conflict and the despicable lion bone trade, less than 25 000 lions remain in Africa.
At Hall’s we care for our precious African wildlife and the environment. Ralston is our ambassador for rhino conservation and will continue to travel all over SA to raise awareness for wildlife conservation.