If you ever needed proof that you’re never too young to be able to teach someone something new, then nine-year-old South African Hunter Mitchell is it.
Hunter has been presented with the 2016 Visionary Wildlife Warrior award by our very own wildlife warrior Bindi Irwin.
Hunter received the accolade for his support in helping hand-rear a baby rhino that had been abandoned by its mother in the wild last year. In collaboration with Aquila Private Game Reserve, and the primary caregiver Divan Grobler, the wildlife enthusiast regularly volunteers his services which include cleaning, mud-bathing and walking the rhino calf named Osita, a Nigerian word meaning, ‘from today, things will be better’.
In addition, Hunter, who is now an honourary ranger at the reserve, has helped to raise more than $7000 to help pay for Osita’s living costs, starting with his pocket money and asking friends and family to contribute, then arranging mufti days at school and creating a Facebook campaign page and crowdfunding website. His passion for rhino conservation has also seen him deliver talks to thousands of students educating them on the plight of the rhinos in schools across South Africa.
Last week Hunter was able to travel to Australia to collect his prestigious award in person, thanks to a fundraising competition run by Aquila Private Game Reserve; Qantas who provided return international flights; and South African Tourism who assisted with flights, accommodation and all on-ground activities. The activities included setting up speaking and media engagements to help Hunter spread his important message to as many Australians as possible.
To support Hunter’s cause for rhino conservation, click here.