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Rhino Disharmony: Uniting Creativity for Kruger Rhino Conservation

Author: Selene Brophy - 20 February 2024

Last Update: 21 February 2024

Part of the African Safari South Africa & African Safari Collection

The conservation of Africa’s endangered rhinos, specifically those found in South Africa’s Greater Kruger region, is being boosted through Rhino Disharmony’s latest conservation campaign, Saviours’ Army.   

The campaign, launched in Cape Town in February, calls on tourists and travel businesses alike to “rise up against rhino poaching.” 

The Western Cape’s Premier Alan Winde and Grammy-winning music composer Harold Faltermeyer joined to support the cause.

 

Kruger Rhino Conservation
Artists and activists rally together in latest the Rhino Disharmony campaign for rhino conservation in the Greater Kruger region. Source: Rhino Disharmony

Reshaping Perceptions Through Educational Art

The event, a fusion of art, music, fashion, and conservation, showcased the budding talent of children enrolled in the educational arts programme Lalela through intricately painted rhino scarves.  

The youth-driven educational community project involves “thousands of children from low-income communities in Sub-Saharan Africa,” according to Rhino Disharmony’s conservation partner, Newmark Motswari.

The hospitality brand is well-known for its wildlife conservation experiences across Southern Africa, including the Motswari Private Game Reserve, close to the Kruger National Park.

“Art has the power to overcome language barriers, supersede cultural boundaries, and communicate in a way words can only dream of. We aim to reshape perceptions about rhino horn use. We collaborate with creatives and companies to speak on behalf of our rhinos and protect them,” said Rhino Disharmony Founder Marion Geiger-Orengo. 

Having witnessed the brutal killing of an innocent rhino on their doorstep in the Motswari Private Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger in 2014, Geiger-Orengo and co-founder Fabrice Orengo de Lamazière created Rhino Disharmony as a means to protect rhinos from the onslaught of poachers.    

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Rhino Disharmony (@rhinodisharmony)

Annual Rise in Rhino Killings 

The latest population numbers show that there were 561 rhinos killed in Africa during 2022, a rise from 501 in 2021 and 503 in 2020, according to the international conservation body African Rhino Specialist Group (AfRSG).

The year-on-year increase is a concern despite a marked decline from the peak of the crisis in 2015 when 1,349 African rhinos were poached.

The Kruger Park rhino population has declined by 77%, from 8 929 in 2014 to only 2 061 in 2022. 

“The situation is particularly serious when one considers that South Africa, which is home to 80% of the world’s rhinos, is one of the last strongholds of these magnificent animals,” said AfRSG. 

Raising Rhino Conservation Awareness 

The Greater Kruger Environmental Protection Foundation (GKEPF), also a Rhino Disharmony partner, believes the survival of the rhino “is a visual reminder that the actions and influence of humanity today have a lasting impact on the evolution or extinction of a species for future generations.”   

Rhino Disharmony has, in turn, looked to use “creative mediums” and “influential ambassadors” like mixed media artist Barend De Wet, international pianist Tian Jiang, cartoonist Zapiro, and Freshly Ground lead singer Zolani to help educate communities in South Africa and abroad about the poaching crisis.

The efforts of the world’s first all-female anti-poaching unit, the Black Mambas, and the Umbabat Counter-Poaching Unit, showcased in a Saviours’ Army Campaign video, also premiered at the launch. 

WATCH: Rhino Disharmony Saviours’ Army 

“The outcome was a powerful synergy for social impact through a shared passion for creativity, community, and conservation, culminating in the Saviours’ Army,” said Rhino Disharmony.

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