A microlight pilot from Bedford will take to the skies over South Africa next year, to save the endangered rhino.
Frank Spiniello was so upset when he saw stories about rhinos being killed in the country that he has set up a UK initiative to provide aerial assistance to charities trying to stop poachers.
His organisation, Special Wildlife Aerial Trackers (SWAT) will support existing anti poaching patrols and Frank is looking for other microlight pilots who would like to get involved.
He said: “I was very saddened to read in the paper that four rhinos were slaughtered for their horns in the Lalibela private game reserve in South Africa.
“I thought of donating money to a rhino charity, and was horrified through my research to find that on average, two rhinos a day are being slaughtered. So far in 2012, 460 rhinos have been killed in South Africa alone.”
In 2013 Frank will travel to South Africa to use his flying skills to support the Zululand Wildlife Security Initiative for a month.
And he aims to set up a national coordination centre, where a dedicated team can work to make sure that there is enough air surveillance in high threat areas.
He said: “I contacted various proactive anti poaching organisations in South Africa, to see if I could offer any assistance. They are always looking for volunteer pilots with their own aircrafts to take part in aerial missions throughout the year.”
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