Top 200 Hunter Mitchell Young Capetonian wins prestigious International Eco-Hero award
Photo Credit: Supplied

Hunter Mitchell started a Rhino Awareness Campaign that has been embraced across the globe, and now the young South African is passing the torch to other Rhino Warriors.


Hunter Mitchell, an eleven-year old from Cape Town, South Africa is doing something special for World Rhino Day coming up on Saturday 22 September.

“I have put out a challenge on the Aquila Private Game Reserve Facebook page looking for 10 rhino warriors to join me for the day at Aquila to learn more around rhino, see rhino in the wild and to spend time coming up with ideas to work together for our precious rhino.

My goal for World Rhino Day is to bring together an amazing group of young people who want to help take responsibility for the future of our rhino and stand up for our rhino!”

His passion for Rhinos all started on Christmas Day 2015, when Hunter heard about a baby rhino abandoned in the middle of the night by its mother. He knew that without help, it would die, and anxiously followed its progress on social media. Starting with his own pocket money, he began raising funds from family and friends, then set up a Facebook page. He felt so inspired to save that one baby rhino, named Osita, but along the way he learned about the poaching crisis and felt compelled to do more.

“On the news I found out about this abandoned baby rhino who was born at Aquila Private Game Reserve, which is two hours from Cape Town,” Hunter explains.

“I decided to help because he was really cute and he wasn’t going to live without his mother. So I started to raise money for him.”

Hunter’s public appeal raised more than R75,000 in less than a week and he has since become an ambassador for the reserve.

Hunter’s love of rhinos shines through when he visits the Aquila Private Game Reserve, founded by Searl Derman, who saved Osita and opened the rhino orphanage that cares for Osita and other orphans. There, wildlife conservationist Divan Grobler teaches Hunter how to care for the rhinos.

“My family has converted into rhino mad warriors!” says Hunter.

He helps to walk with the animals, prepare their food, feed them, and coat them with protective mud. The rhinos recognize him and come running to nudge him.

Hunter has made presentations to more than 10,000 school children, locally, over Skype in Asia, and on a trip to Australia where he was impressed to meet with environmentalist Bindy Irwin. He has filmed documentaries and videos to distribute online, and for the past two years he has organized a big event for World Rhino Day.

“Keeping rhinos, elephants, lions, pangolins and so many more animals safe from extinction is going to need warriors and I will always be one of those warriors,” says Hunter. “I am only 10 and know my journey is just beginning.”

To find out more about Hunter or his challenge, visit his Facebook page.

Sources: Hunter Mitchell
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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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