Despite shrinking numbers and an escalation in poaching, the 50 million-year-old endangered rhinoceros species has been given a fighting chance, thanks to a dedicated group of conservancies in Kenya, and a one-day, bowl-a-thon to raise funds in the United States and Australia.
Bowling for Rhinos was established by the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) to support conservation and raise awareness throughout the US. The annual events have so far raised over $6.6 million, all of which is sent to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, the International Rhino Foundation and Action for Cheetahs in Kenya, as well as organisations in Indonesia.
Following several trips to Kenya, Dreamworld’s Wildlife Curator Michele Barnes decided it was time for Australia to get in on the action. After one trip to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy that included Zarraffa’s CEO Kenton Campbell, Kiri Griffiths and Katrina Humphreys, the four decided that Bowling for Rhinos would be an ideal way to support rhino rescue.
“The rhino is an umbrella species, so when we work to save the rhino, we are helping to save thousands of other species that share its habitat,” Michele explains. “The Bowling for Rhinos event is a fun and fantastic way to help out not just the rhinos, but all the other beautiful animals that call the African grasslands home.”
In 2014, in cooperation with the Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation and Zarraffa’s Coffee, the Bowling for Rhinos Australian chapter was launched. It raised $5,000 at its inaugural event held on the Gold Coast, with $6,000 raised the following year, and $4,390 in 2016. All of these numbers were boosted by an additional $25,000 donation from Zarraffa’s – as its major partner – each year.
Zarraffa’s CEO and Founder, Kenton Campbell, said previous events had proven to be a great night, with people of all ages and abilities throwing strikes and spares, (and the occasional gutter ball), to do their bit to save some of the world’s most incredible wildlife.
“It’s always a fantastic night, combining some friendly competition and fun in pursuit of a serious and worthwhile cause; the saving of a unique and incredibly fascination species,” said Kenton.
“Having seen first-hand the very real impact the raised funds make in the curation and care of these animals at Lewa, I would encourage anyone who is interested in playing their part in conservation, or who just happens to enjoy ‘hitting the pins’, to join us.”
Now in its fourth year, the annual Bowling for Rhinos event will be held on the Gold Coast, with details of how to participate below.
When: September 7, 2017
Where: AMF Bowling Alley, Robina
Cost: $40 p/p (includes two games of bowling, shoe hire and finger food). Spectator tickets are also available for $25 (includes finger food).
Click here to purchase your tickets now.
MORE ABOUT BOWLING FOR RHINOS
The ‘Bowling for Rhinos’ charity was originally established by the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) in 1990 after realising that the Zoo Keepers of the world directed too much of their focus towards animals in conservation, meanwhile attention was urgently required for rhinos and their natural habitats.
With this motivation in mind, the team established the Bowling for Rhinos charity and lined up several ‘National bowl-athon’ chapters throughout America and Canada who staged their own fundraising events and have so far donated over six million dollars towards the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, the International Rhino Foundation and Action for Cheetah’s in Kenya.
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is the home to over 400 African species of bird and 70 mammal species. Lewa currently houses 61 black rhino and are monitored daily in their natural habitats by highly qualified rangers, but at a cost that is hard to upkeep without the support of the AAZK and the donations generated by Bowling for Rhinos.
ABOUT DREAMWORLD WILDLIFE FOUNDATION (DWF)
Dreamworld plays an active role in the fostering and protection of the region’s wildlife through the Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation (DWF).
Established by Dreamworld in 2012, DWF is an internationally recognised fund committed to the protection, education and conservation of the earth’s most magnificent creatures and habitats, crucial to their survival.
DWF makes significant donations to fund anti-poaching patrols and conservation initiatives in Russia and Indonesia to help save tigers in the wild through its conservation partners 21st Century Tiger, Flora & Fauna International and the Phoenix Fund.
The foundation also supports several native wildlife conservation partners in Australia including Save The Bilby Fund and local universities.