Saving rhinos is child’s play


Hunter Mitchell is at the age when homework doesn’t make sense. Six hours in the classroom and the sums still aren’t done? It doesn’t add up. But he’s got more significant things to worry about than the everyday turmoils of being ten. Like whether there will be any rhinos left by the time he’s mastered algebra.

Mitchell’s heart was first wrenched by the plight of Africa’s rhinos when he saw pictures of an orphaned calf one New Year’s Eve. To him the equation was simple: if people did this, they could undo it. So he set the example by donating his pocket money to the young animal’s cause, asking friends and family to join him and taking to social media to extend his request to the nation.

Mitchell has since raised over R100 000 for Osita the orphaned rhino, who he visits regularly at Aquila Private Game Reserve’s rhino orphanage. While his bold stand for the otherwise helpless herbivore is touching, the movement that he started has become far bigger. Mitchell is now an ambassador for the Saving Private Rhino organisation and an advocate for the fair treatment of wildlife, reaching out to children his age as far afield as Japan through Skype talks to spread the message. All of this from a determined ten-year-old – imagine the possibilities if we all pitched in.