On 22 September 2010, WWF South Africa established World Rhino Day, an annual event focused on raising awareness on the increased threat of rhino poaching and the illegal trade in rhino horn. Since its inception, the day has become a global phenomenon, giving every concerned citizen the opportunity to stand up for rhino conservation. This year, WWF South Africa will be taking World Rhino Day to new heights through a global Twitterstorm, centred around the hashtag #iam4rhinos.
This year alone, South Africa, which is home to some 75% of the world’s rhino population, has lost 618 rhinos. However, the fight against rhino poaching will not be won solely in Africa. It requires international effort, especially in Asia – the source of the demand for rhino horn. Recent consumer research from Vietnam has generated important insights about rhino horn users, identifying them primarily as successful middle-aged businessmen, who value the opinion of their peers and make use of rhino horn mainly as a status symbol. The research also shows that many aspirational young people in the growing middle class intend to buy and use rhino horn once they can afford it.
With this in mind, WWF South Africa is targeting some of the world’s most prestigious brands and influencial people to pledge their support for rhinos by declaring #iam4rhinos on 22 September 2013. By inviting these brands and individuals to stand up for rhinos, WWF South Africa hopes to draw national and international attention to the threat of rhino poaching, the illegal trade in rhino horn, and the perception of rhino horn as a status symbol.
Be part of the World Rhino Day movement and show your support for rhino conservation on 22 September 2013: #iam4rhinos.