The recent increase in the number of rhino poaching incidents has spurred the public and corporates to get involved in rhino conservation projects. Matrix Recovery Service, a brand of MiX Telematics, saw its opportunity when Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles announced it would be sponsoring six Volkswagen Amarok bakkies for the Rhino Protection Initiative.  

Matrix Recovery Service stepped in and put in its MX3 tracking device in each vehicle. “Matrix Recovery Service has the technology and know-how to ensure that the vehicles are being monitored and protected 24/7,” says Brendan Horan, General Sales and Marketing Manager MiX Telematics.                                                                                                                        

The MX3 device uses GPS technology to pinpoint the exact position of the vehicle and has additional features including cell phone positioning and service notification. Besides being able to know exactly where each vehicle is at all times, the service notification feature will let the driver know when its time to have the vehicle serviced. “These vehicles are going to be tackling some heavy terrain and a feature such as the service notification will ensure the vehicles are kept in good condition,” says Horan.

Matrix Recovery Service sponsorship supports the Wilderness Foundation, the pioneers and administrators of the Forever Wild Rhino Protection Initiative. The vehicles were handed over to conservation agencies in Mpumalanga, North West, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal and will be primarily used in proactive rhino protection and anti-poaching activities.

The Wilderness Foundation’s Forever Wild Initiative is concerned with maintaining populations of free ranging rhino within state and privately managed conservation areas. The campaign supports conservation agencies and organised private game reserves to protect their rhino populations.

“It’s alarming to note that over 170 rhinos have been poached in South Africa this year. South Africa has been successful in the conservation of the rhino population in the past and we hope that through efforts such as these, we will begin to see the number of incidents decreasing once again,” concludes Horan.

 “The belief by millions of people in China and Vietnam that the horn has medical properties is very deep seated and has been for thousands of years.  This belief will not be changed by rational arguments. We now need to debate in all possible forums the merit and demerits of legalising the sale of rhino horn.  This debate is necessary so that the Minister of the Environment can make an informed decision,” concluded Dr Player.