Learning 4 Apr 2017

Saving the rhino

By Nadine Bailey, Teacher Librarian TK Campus
Photograph by CIS Communications

Our TK Grade 1 students were lucky enough to hear Jennifer Fox, an avid supporter of saving the rhinoceros, and the owner of a private game farm in South Africa give an extremely informative talk recently. The children learnt about how important rhinos are to the savannah ecosystem as an “umbrella species”. This means that together with elephants, who are a “keystone species”, rhinos attract and help the presence and existence of other animals including birds and insects.

Ms Fox told us about the complete devastation occurring in rhino populations as a result of poaching, which is mainly the result of supplying the Asian market with medicine, trinkets, and ornaments. She explained the work celebrity spokespeople like Jackie Chan and Yao Ming are doing to help raise awareness of this issue, and how the situation is made worse when and if people buy rhino and elephant products. Students also found out that many baby rhinos are orphaned when their mothers are poached, and these babies can become very ill with stomach ulcers, due to the stress of losing their mother.

As a result of the talk, all the children pledged to help save these wonderful creatures.

Ms Fox was impressed with our students’ knowledge of habitats, a result of their recent Sharing the Planet unit.

Comments from our teachers:

Ms Louisa Pragasam

“On behalf of Grade 1, thank you for organising the rhino talk. Ms Fox was an excellent speaker. We really learnt a lot! Hopefully, we can have her visit next year, too.”

Ms Laura Coulter
“It was totally fabulous. Wow - what a speaker and great opportunity for the children to learn directly from someone working with the rhino."