April 23rd was set to be an interesting evening as we set off to listen to Damien Mander give a talk at the Conference Center at the Perth Zoo, Western Australia. This event was organised by the Save African Rhino Foundation:
The evening started off on a very sombre note as John Lemon gave a very heart wrenching tribute as he fare-welled his friend and associate Greg Gibbard, who was recently brutally murdered in Zimbabwe. A minutes silence was observed as a token of respect to this much loved and respected man
Over 130 people attended the evening and more than $13,000 was raised, all of which will go into Damien’s project in Mozambique.
Damien Mander who now resides in South Africa served as a Special Operations Sniper and Clearance Diver in the Australian Defence Force. In 2009 he used his life savings to start the International Anti-poaching Foundation. This organisation is dedicated to the protection and preservation of wildlife by focusing on ranger training and establishing crack anti-poaching units. The IAPF – has operated in South Africa, Australia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique and continues to give support by training local units free of charge. The IAPF is funded by fundraising activities and grants. https://www.facebook.com/iapf.org
Damien receiving much needed goods donated by Marc McDonald
Damien’s talk was very informative although very distressing as the realization set in that we are far from resolving the rapid destruction of the world’s precious rhino along with so many other species. It is such a large and complex issue.
Damien’s talk was followed by the signing of the Rages One Fight Unite poster by Damien and Save’s very own Nicholas Duncan. Both these wildlife warriors showed their support for this international campaign by signing the poster and together SAYING NO.
Nicholas Duncan who started the Save African Rhino Foundation in July 1989, has dedicated the last 28 years of his life on a purely 100% voluntary basis towards saving the rhino in Africa. Nicholas works tirelessly by raising funds for this not for profit organisation by hosting annual dinners/auctions fundraising events, Safaris and member donations. One of the leading supporters of rhino conservation in Zimbabwe, the SAVE African Rhino Foundation has donated more than $5.2 million worth of field equipment, supporting the ongoing wildlife war in Africa.
Paula, Nicholas and Damien
Nicholas doing his thing!
The evening ended with a fund raising auction conducted in hilarious fashion by Nicholas!
It was indeed an honour and a privilege to attend this most memorable evening all in the name of wildlife conservation.