Business & Industry This wine dedicated to saving rhinos has raised over R2-million to aid...

This wine dedicated to saving rhinos has raised over R2-million to aid anti-poaching efforts

Two things South Africans are very passionate about – wine and saving the rhinos – have been combined in an initiative which has raised over R2-million in aid of anti-poaching.

Rhino Tears wine was launched in 2014 by John Hooper, MD of Mt Vernon wines, out of a desire to contribute to the preservation of a species close to his heart.

R15 from every bottle sold is donated to the SANParks Honorary Rangers. This money, and the money collected from numerous other generous donors, has helped them fund and operate some of the most successful anti-poaching efforts in the country to date,” Hooper says.

Through the sales of their red blend and sauvignon blanc, Rhino Tears has raised an astonishing R2 million in support of the SANParks Honorary Rangers. However, successful anti-poaching interventions do not come cheap, and continued funding is essential to help them keep up their good work.

Hooper believes that the contribution of private organisations is essential in the fight against poaching, and encourages more businesses to lend a helping hand.

The SANParks Honorary Rangers now include more than 1 300 volunteers who assist in the provision of manpower, technology and equipment needed for SANPark’s anti-poaching efforts. This includes supporting the K9 Project Watchdog, which sees specially trained tracking dogs deployed to sniff out poachers.

[Read more: This teen decided to fight rhino poaching after a trip to SA.]

“Rhino Tears isn’t about making money, it’s about creating change and giving people the chance to get involved with something important,” says Hooper.

“The beauty lies in the fact that our customers can enjoy a great glass of wine, while knowing that they’ve contributed to a great cause. The funds raised are used to train rangers on the frontline of the anti-poaching interventions and purchase gear that allows them to survive in the bush for long periods while tracking poachers.”