The Fight Against Poaching

The Fight Against Poaching

How Volkswagen is helping those dedicated to saving the rhino from extinction

Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 9:30am

CONTENT: Article

To track down rhinoceros and kill them is illegal, yet unfortunately a lucrative business model in South Africa. Sporting helicopters, silenced weapons and night vision scopes, the poachers come well equipped to claim their brutal prize. Just a single horn nets thousands of dollars on the black market. Ground into powder the horn allegedly is a miracle remedy for fever or even cancer and is said to increase male potency. Especially in Asia the horn of a rhino is also a treasured status symbol.

Whenever the world’s third heaviest land mammal has its horn taken, the results are always gruesome. The rhino either bleeds out in agony or it lives on suffering while being rendered unable to protect itself or its offspring. Having already roamed the earth more than 50 million years ago, today, one of the oldest creatures to inhabit this world is facing extinction.

Volkswagen South Africa is lending a hand to those engaged in the fight against rhino poaching. The Wilderness Foundation for instance educates the public on the issue while also deploying ranger units, who patrol vast areas using vehicles which the carmaker had donated to their cause. Matt Gennrich, General Manager Group Communications at Volkswagen South Africa, says: “The fight against poaching must continue – if we allow the crime syndicates to have it their way, there’ll be no rhinos left to protect in ten years.”

Cooperation between Volkswagen and the Wilderness Foundation began in 2011 and was reaffirmed in 2014 with a donation of six new Amarok double cabs. In addition, participating Volkswagen dealerships make a donation to the initiative Unite Against Poaching for every car sold. The funds are primarily used to help field rangers obtain the equipment and training they need to take the fight to the poachers. Since the program was implemented in 2011, donations have already amounted to around 600 000 US Dollar in total.


Matt Gennrich
Volkswagen Group South Africa | General Manager Group Communications
Stefan Ernst
Volkswagen AG | Group Communications | Spokesman Environment and CSR
CATEGORY: Environment