While many of us have good intentions to help animals, the concept of "contributing to wildlife conservation" can sometimes seem very abstract. In other words, how do we actually take action? But right now, there’s an easy way that you can make sure 100 percent of your money goes directly to rhino conservation in Africa: by purchasing the 2012 Rhino Calendar.
Busch Gardens Rhino Keeper Becki Orze’s photo “Here Comes Trouble” appears in the 2012 Rhino Calendar for the month of June. “Trouble” absolutely describes Ethel, one of Busch Gardens’ very young (and VERY mischievous) white rhinos.
This calendar features four of the five species of rhinos in all of their larger-than-life glory! Galloping, bathing, sleeping, eating, and just being the amazing animals that they are, these rhinos fill the calendar from front to back!
Rhino Keepers Sara, Jennifer, and Becki and Paul the Photographer on the Black Rhino habitat.
How did this calendar come together? It was Busch Gardens Rhino Keeper Sara Wunder's idea to create and sell the 2012 Rhino Calendar, entirely composed of photos taken by rhino enthusiasts from around the world. Once she had the support from the president of the IRKA & International Rhino Foundation (IRF), she set about the task of making the calendar happen: organizing the photo entries, facilitating the voting, supervising the production, & managing advertisement of the calendar. (It was lots of work, but she’ll tell you it was a labor of love.)
Busch Gardens In-Park Photographer Paul Montecalvo’s photo appears as an inset in the 2012 Rhino Calendar. (That’s Jody, the Black Rhino, sticking her tongue out at you!)
The production of the calendar was entirely funded by the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund so that 100 percent of the proceeds could go directly towards species conservation. In this case, the money will go to address a very specific issue.
Busch Gardens Rhino Keeper Jennifer MacNaughton took this photo on her 2009 trip to Africa funded by the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund & the EarthWatch institute.This photo shows a rhino “guard”, his station, and the rhino he’s sworn to protect at Ol Pejeta.
In Zimbabwe and the Republic of South Africa, much has been done to protect rhino populations. Conservation Education & training and implementation of rhino “guards” (like the one pictured above) have helped. The current problem is not catching the poachers, but successfully prosecuting them for wildlife crimes. Claims of lack of evidence or evidence tampering, leading to release of poachers, are common. Proceeds from the sales of the calendars will be used to purchase
- Digital cameras
- Tamper proof evidence bags
- Metal detectors
- GPS Units
Video explaining the plight of rhinos and promoting the 2012 Rhino Calendar, created by Busch Gardens Rhino Keeper Jennifer MacNaughton