Hunter Mitchell, a 14-year-old boy from Somerset West, has raised nearly R400 000 (€24 540) for the protection of rhinos threatened by poachers, according to IOL.
According to Mitchell’s BackaBuddy page, ‘Raise a Baby Rhino with Hunter’, his journey started at the age of eight, when he began raising funds for an orphaned White rhino, Osita, who was found at Aquila Private Game Reserve in the Western Cape on New Year’s Eve in 2015.
Mitchell said on his page: “I learnt so much from that one special rhino and how every rhino's life is important. After years of hard work, Osita was successfully released back into the wild and I decided that I needed to help as many orphaned and injured rhinos around South Africa to have the same second chance at life.”
Funds are raised through awareness talks at schools, civvies days, talks at corporate events and other spaces. In 2019, Mitchell launched a rhino sock collection supported by Pick n Pay clothing, and rhino masks are sold at the shops in the Kruger National Park.
Mitchell’s efforts and fundraising have made a real difference towards the rescue, care and rehabilitation of rhinos, whilst educating new generations about humans’ responsibility to care not just for this endangered species but all wildlife on our planet, reports The Good Things Guy.
Mitchell has received the prestigious ‘Diana Award’ in praise for his efforts in saving rhinos in South Africa. The award was established in memory of the late Princess Diana, Princess of Wales.
Hunter, who plans to be a “world-class vet” one day, hopes his awards will raise even greater awareness about rhino conservation, says News24. “I want to keep educating future generations about their responsibilities to our rhino, our wildlife and our planet,” he explains. “We need to protect these gentle giants.”