In South Africa alone, over 1,000 rhinos were lost to poaching last year – that equates to three killed every day. These beautiful animals are poached illegally for their horns, prized in certain cultures as symbols of power and wealth, as well as being said to have unproven medicinal properties.
South Africa has by far the largest population of rhinos in the world and is an incredibly important country for conservation. This is key to preserving the wonder of the country’s biodiversity, landscapes and associated heritage. It is also critical for tourism and the many rural communities it helps sustain.
One such example is conservation charity Flying for Freedom SA. Set up by experienced helicopter pilot Tokkie Botes, Flying for Freedom SA works across South Africa National Parks and beyond. They do everything from flying veterinary scientists to snared animals, to flying rescued animals to protected reserves and assisting anti-poaching operations. Tokkie himself has spent hundreds of hours flying to different sites where help is needed.
“South Africa is home to some of the world’s most incredible creatures, including rhinos. As residents of the country, it’s our job to help save these animals,” explains Tokkie. “That’s exactly why I founded Flying for Freedom SA. I love spending my days in the air, helping and encouraging others to do the same. It’s made even easier with support from sponsors like Puma Aviation, who provide us with fuel for the helicopter and additional funds to keep the organisation going.”
Puma Aviation, part of Puma Energy, the global integrated midstream and downstream energy company, delivers high-quality aviation fuel without fail, whenever and wherever it’s needed. The company operates across Africa with unrivalled aviation fuel storage and distribution capabilities, making it the perfect partner for Flying for Freedom SA.
“I wholeheartedly agree with Tokkie’s ethos about taking responsibility for preserving the very special habitat around us here in South Africa, and across Africa as a whole,” comments Seamus Kilgallon, Global Head of Aviation at Puma Aviation. “This is why Puma Aviation supports Flying for Freedom SA to carry out flights to save endangered species. Our African-wide network allows us to support Tokkie wherever his work may take him. We are proud to contribute to this important work in a small way. We are delighted to have renewed our support into 2019.”
For more information or to make a donation to Flying for Freedom SA please visit https://fffsa.org.za/