We have some exciting news! We have most likely created the largest, single animal geoglyph in the world, right here on the grounds of the Mapesu Private Game Reserve.
When one flies from South Africa over the air navigation beacon when crossing the Limpopo River that marks the border with Zimbabwe and Botswana, one can see from 10 or 12 kilometers high on a clear day the ‘Sky Rhino.’ It measures 1,280 meters (over 12 football fields wide) by 680 meters tall and covers an area of 54 hectares in the northern region of South Africa at the Mapesu Private Game Reserve.
What is that, you ask? Geoglyphs (various shapes) or biomorphs (animal shapes) are highly creative and artistic designs, lines, and geometrical etchings or motifs that are created by utilizing rocks, trees, gravel or other elements of the landscape. Geoglyphs are found throughout the world with many being thousands of years old. Thus, far no one knows why they were made nor for what purpose.
In our case, we know why it was created! It was created by many volunteers and rangers on behalf of Shared Universe Africa (SUV), as a way to bring light to the horrendous plight of the rhinos and their fight for survival in the face of rampant poaching. It is symbol of defiance and also hope for change.
There are less than 25,000 rhinos left in the world. The fact that there more rhinos poached than those being born means that extinction is possible within 20 years. Over 80% of them roam in South Africa, where both government rangers in National Parks and private anti-poaching units in private game reserves fight a heroic battle against poachers. The poachers intend to make a quick fortune as ground rhino horn in Asian Traditional Medicine has a per kilo value higher than gold, especially in Vietnam and China.
The deforestation project that created the ‘Sky Rhino’ is part of a larger effort to reduce mopane encroachment (caused from years of overgrazing by domesticated cattle) via restoring some of the area to its original fertile grasslands. The ‘Sky Rhino’ encloses a sea of yellow grass (Panicum Maximum) while on the exterior stands a bountiful ocean of green, brown and grey mopane trees. The grassy plains feed antelopes, zebra, wildebeest and hopefully soon a couple of white rhinos.
We invite you to join the experience and adventure in the world of conservation. Contact us for more information and to visit us to drive the circumference in person! firstname.lastname@example.org