World unites to march for elephants, rhino and lions

2017-10-07 11:55 - Kavitha Pillay
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Cape Town - On Saturday, 7 October, cities around the world join in the Global March for Elephants, Rhino and Lions to draw attention and raise awareness about the crisis these species face.

The global march aims to call for an end to the ivory, rhino horn and lion bone trades.

"This march will be the biggest international event ever held to save our planet’s vanishing wildlife, with a focus on elephants, rhino and lions," says Blood Lions.

SEE: #WorldLionDay: Awareness needed to double endangered lion numbers by 2050

In South Africa, the march takes place in Johannesburg at Huddle Park and Durban at Bay of Plenty Lawns. In Durban, all funds raised through the sale of the March's merchandise and public donations will be donated to Project Rhino KZN and the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi K9 Unit.

Both Johannesburg and Durban venues offer family entertainment, food and drink stalls, as well as a line-up of guest speakers.

Why we need to raise awareness

"The poaching of elephants and rhino has surged to unprecedented levels in recent years, fuelled by the demand for ivory and rhino horn from mainly China and Vietnam," says Blood Lions.

According to Blood Lions, an elephant is killed every 15 minutes. "That’s around 100 every day and an annual toll of 35 000 to 50 000".

SEE: Captive elephant industry fails to ride wave of change

Blood Lions says that a rhino is poached every 9 to 11 hours, with an estimated 24 000 left in the world. "Over 1 000 rhino were poached last year alone, compared to just 13 in 2007. If the rate of killing continues to rise, rhino too will face extinction within the decade."

At least two or three hand-reared tamed lions are killed in canned hunts in South Africa, according to Blood Lions, who adds that almost 8 000 predators are being held in cages or confined areas, and "none of this has anything to do with conservation".

"If we don’t act now, that number could well be over 12 000 within the next few years," it warns.

"The Global March calls for urgent concerted action to be taken on all levels to save these species."

See how the Global March is taking place around the world:

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