A Bedford born microlight pilot has set up a UK initiative with the aim of saving rhinos in South Africa.
Frank Spiniello, 49, aims to provide aerial monitoring to existing anti-poaching units with the scheme called Special Wildlife Aerial Trackers (S.W.A.T).
Rhino Anti-Poaching units need the aerial support to monitor rhino herds, which cover a great deal of land, with 460 rhinos killed in South Africa in 2012 alone.
Poachers use fast vehicles and coverage from trees to get away with this crime but with the help of aerial support it provides a greater viewpoint of herds and of the poachers themselves.
Mr Spiniello, who is hoping gain the support of The Duke of Cambridge, said: “I was very saddened to read in the Daily Mail that four rhinos were slaughtered for their horns in the Lalibela private Game Reserve 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.
“Poachers keen to cash in on the black market demand for rhino horn - used for Arab daggers and eastern medicine are also setting thousands of snares. Snares are often forgotten and catch anything that stumbles into them. Unless wardens can reach the trapped animals in time, they are guaranteed a slow, agonising death.
“Larger animals, such as elephants, often manage to pull themselves free, but the wounds they receive while doing so are severe enough to kill them if they go untreated.”
Mr Spiniello plans to start work in South Africa in 2013, starting with anti-poaching aerial patrols in conjunction with ZWSI (the Zululand Wildlife Security Initiative), supported by The Bateleurs and Project Africa/ACT (African Conservation Trust) flying approximately a one month stint, then hand over operations to another volunteer pilots.
Event type : AERIAL ANTI POACHING PATROLS
Event location : SOUTH AFRICA
Event date : 01-01-2013 - 01-12-2017
OPERATION (S.W.A.T ) Special Wildlife Aerial Trackers, is a NEW UK INITIATIVE to provide ongoing vital aerial reconnaissance to protect Rhinos . FACT! There is one powerful weapon to prevent this senseless barbaric killing. FACT ! Statistics suggest, by the mere presence of having an eye in the sky, 8 out of 9 rhinos were saved from poaches. FACT! Microlights provide one of the simplest and most cost-effective form of aerial surveillance, coupled with field rangers on the ground, is one of the best deterrents to poachers in the area. FACT! With thousands of square miles to patrol and not knowing where poachers plan to hit next, rhinos and other endangered species need our immediate preventative ACTION! NOW!“Until” there is an alternative to stop! the slaughter. The ONLY! way to “SAVE THE RHINO” is to” Join in the AIR-FIGHT against rhino poaching” ! 460 rhinos have been killed in South Africa this year alone in 2012 for their horn. Warning Graphic content!
One microlight will not make a difference, however a dedicated regular team of Volunteer pilots patroling HIGH THREAT areas,will make a massive difference, its vital we, in the Microlight International community, unite come together and join forces . The recruitment of volunteer microlight pilots from around the world is underway. A mass microlight charity Fly-In being planned to take place in Bedfordshire next year to raise funds to support this initiative and awareness and hopefully attract a major sponsor/s. I plan to invite Prince William, ( Patron of Tusk Trust, and a pilot) for his support.
Anyone interested in getting involved should contact email@example.com
or contact me and I will forward your details firstname.lastname@example.org
I am volunteering myself