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Tourism, Cars, Traffic

Wednesday, 23 November 2016 10:09

Visionary Wildlife Warrior takes to the skies

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Visionary Wildlife Warrior takes to the skies

Less than three weeks ago a 9 year old received an invitation to come to Brisbane Australia to collect a prestigious conservation award. When Aquila Private Game Reserve heard about this award and that Hunter was not in a position to get to Australia, the reserve committed to the family that Aquila would make sure they got Hunter to Brisbane to receive his award in person. Thanks to the public for responding to the competition Aquila ran, Qantas airline and a very generous South African Tourism Australia office, yesterday Hunter boarded the plane to Australia to collect his award.

This annual Visionary Wildlife Warrior award is presented by the Steve Irwin Foundation and in the letter congratulating Hunter, Bindi Irwin writes “After we read your essay describing your passion and determination to make the world a better place, we were truly inspired. I know that you are going to change the world. Being a Wildlife Warrior means to stand up for what you believe in and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. It means to follow your dreams and always remember that you can make a difference in the world.”

Hunter Mitchell won the award for the work he has done in raising awareness for the plight of the rhino. For the past 11 months Hunter has been raising money for Aquila’s Rescue Centre to assist them in hand rearing an orphaned rhino calf, Osita. Hunter’s relationship with the reserve has grown over the past eleven months and he has been made an honorary ranger. He visits the rhino regularly and assists the primary care giver, Divan Grobler in his duties with Osita. Hunter is a dab hand at mud bathing, taking the rhino for walks, boma clean up and feeding the greedy little rhino. In Hunters own words “you can make a difference even if you are small”. And Hunter has made a difference he has galvanised and inspired not only his generation but all generations to take action and make a difference. Schools across the Western Cape have heeded Hunters call and have done much to raise awareness for this critically endangered species.

Grobler and Hunter have formed a tight little team and have had the privilege of speaking at many of the schools in the Western Cape about the plight of the rhino. SA Tourism in Australia have lined up a number of speaking engagements for them at schools as well as with the local media in Australia. Acting Country Manager South African Tourism Australasia, Yana Shvarts said “South African Tourism is committed to the conservation of our Rhinos and Hunter’s story is a shining light in the fight to save these incredible animals. We are honoured to help bring such an inspiring young man to Australia to share his story, raise awareness and inspire future Wildlife Warriors.”

To keep pace with our Wildlife Warrior’s trip down under like the following Facebook pages @aquilasafari and @arcataquila.

Picture attached: Travelling with Grobler and Hunter is Lynley Mitchell, Hunters Mom.

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