Each member of the public who has purchased a vehicle since 1st September 2011 can be proud and re-assured that they have directly assisted in helping the plight of the rhinos and be confident that the funds generated have been put to optimum use.
Below is a breakdown of the spend as at 31 December 2012
Clandestine Training for Field Rangers -
Specialised clandestine training is being rolled out across the whole of the field ranger contingent of the Kruger National Park. The Field Rangers in the various sections are systematically increasing their human tracking skills to enable them to track insurgents into the park. This 5 day intensive advanced training course is further enhanced by continuous interaction and skills transfer within the groups of rangers and the use of GPS equipment. We are proud to be able to support this skills upgrade for the field rangers.
For security reasons, faces have to be obscured.
April 2013 - A proud group of field rangers having completed their Human tracking training!
Equipment for Field Rangers
Tuesday 31 July 2012 - World Rangers Day
We proudly watched the passing out parade of the 49 newest recruits who sucessfully completed their specialised covert training. The Unite against Poaching Trust sponsored their field equipment as well as the cost of their training. True heroes in the fight against poaching. May you be extremely sucessful.
Friday 25 May 2012
Unitrans VW handed over more than R500 000 worth of equipment to the Addo Elephant National Park Rangers which will assist in equipping them to battle any poaching attempts that may come their way. The sponsorship was facilitated by the SANParks Honorary Rangers, a group of volunteers who raise funds and provide services in support of South African National Parks (SANParks).
The handover, which took place at Addo’s Main Camp, saw equipment such as binoculars, tents and sleeping bags, backpacks and chest webbing handed over to the Park rangers.
Rangers will use the equipment during day and night patrols aimed at preventing potential poachers from entering the Park.The much-needed equipment comes at a time when the countrywide rhino poaching crisis has resulted in a battle led by various conservation and law enforcement authorities against the poaching syndicates. Figures issued by the Department of Environmental Affairs earlier this week confirmed a total of 220 rhinos killed illegally since the beginning of 2012. During this same period, 146 suspects have been arrested for crime related to rhino poaching. Unitrans VW has also sponsored various monitoring systems in Addo Elephant National Park, including cameras, which are placed in field to detect threats to wildlife in the Park. The sponsorship also covers helicopter flying time to aid monitoring of the park’s wildlife.
At the handover, some of Addo Elephant National Park’s 88 rangers demonstrated their patrolling skills.
The sponsorship also covers advanced training for selected rangers over the next few years to ensure they have the most superior abilities to target any threats.
The handover forms part of the ongoing national sponsorship agreement between Unitrans Volkswagen Division and the SANParks Honorary Rangers.
3rd November in Phalaborwa, equipment to the value of R1.7 million was handed over to the various Section Rangers of the Kruger National Park. The basic kit will equip the field rangers to operate in the bush for extended periods without having to return to their base camps. The ability to remain in the bush overnight for long period will greatly enhance their ability to track would be poachers.
Rhino DNA Profiling
Unitrans Volkswagen, via the Unite against Poaching trust have donated a toptal of R500 000 towards the Rhino DNA Database project (RHODIS), whereby DNA samples from the SANParks rhinos are captured on a database, administered by Onderstepoort and the University of Pretoria, to provide forensic evidence in support of rhino poaching prosecutions.
This was in the form of 2 separate donations, one in November 2011 and the other on 17th July 2012.
Seen here handing over the second cheque for R 250 00 to Dr Cindy Harper, Head of the Veterinary Genetics laboratory at Onderstepoort; is Kevin Gillmer, Chief Executive of Unitrans Volkswagen.
Kruger National Park Tracker Dog project
Unitrans Volkswagen are the sponsors of the Foxhound anti-poaching Dog Tracking project at present being developed in the Kruger National Park. The funding provides for purchasing and transport of the 3 hounds, electric fencing and housing of the three hounds as well as tracking collars. Funding was also provided for the initial consultant fees for 14 days intensive specialist training.
These highly trained canines are going to make a significant contribution to the apprehension of poachers and ultimately the survival of the rhinos. They are able to rapidly establish the scent and follow the trail of the poachers’ day or night, offering significant advantages over the present human tracking which is limited to visibility of the signs. Many poaching incident take place under cover of darkness and this advantage has been nullified by the introduction of the canine warriors.
Introducing Chico, Kombi and Jetta the first 3 foxhounds. These tracker dogs will make a significant contribution to the apprehension of poachers.
An additional 6 puppies have been acquired to supplement the foxhound pack.
In Addition, Unitrans Volkswagen have also donated an Amarok 4 x 4 vehicle to be used to transport the tracker dogs to the various locations within the Kruger .