It is estimated that one to two rhinos are killed each day due to poaching. That’s an alarming number, and for what? Chinese medicine is the main culprit. The practice has introduced many useful medicinal techniques such as acupuncture, reflexology, and countless herbal remedies. But this world-wide practice has a dark side, one based on superstition.
It is believed that the rhino horn when ground up and ingested can increase a man’s libido, as well as being thought of as a cure for cancer. These beliefs are entirely based on superstition without any medical evidence to back it up. But the wisdom of these Chinese doctors often goes without question and can sadly be seen as an opportunity for monetary gain.
This is why I found myself in Zimbabwe, standing above some of the wildest rapids in the world on the mighty Zambezi River. Myself and Nadia Almuti were invited to join a group of six other paddlers to attempt the first stand up paddle board descent of the Zambezi River. When I say it’s wild, I mean it in all senses of the word. The rapids are everywhere from class III-V, crocodiles rest in the long calm sections between rapids, every day we had to hike in and out of the gorge with our gear, and temperatures were a blistering 110 degrees. There’s a reason this hasn’t been attempted before and as I find myself, paddle in hand, above our first rapid I had to ask myself…”what the f$*k was I thinking?”.
When you’re doing something as crazy as this you need something to motivate you. To be honest, I’ve never cared very much about being the first. I could throw a rock in the SUP community and hit someone who has done a first descent. No, I wasn’t doing this to prove anything to myself or to the community I was doing this for the rhinos. My heart was pounding, with the sudden urge to throw up, all I wanted to do was throw in the towel; I was overcome with fear. Despite that all I had to do was remind myself why I was there…”You’re doing it for the rhinos Brittany, now paddle!” And I did.
We did our part now this is how you can do yours. We did this to engage people, to grab their attention and then direct it towards our campaign. Our mission is to raise $10,000, 100% of that goes to the Care for Wild Sanctuary. This NPO takes in baby rhinos that have been orphaned due to poaching. Not only are these rhinos in a constant state of danger but so are those taking care of them. Poachers will stop at nothing to get their prize, even if it means killing others in the process. The caretakers are risking their lives in order to save a species that is on the verge of extinction.
By purchasing this beautiful shirt, painted by Sarah Cray, you will be contributing to the safety and health of these rhinos. A percentage of profits of each sale will go towards the ‘Stand Up 4 Rhinos’ campaign. Thank you for your support and standing up for rhinos. Visit www.standup4rhinos.org to get more information on our project.
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