The Supra team traveled to Bela Bela in South Africa’s Limpopo Province during their visit to the country to learn more about elephant conservation at the Rory Hensman Conservation and Research Unit. The RHCRU is dedicated to the holistic and sustainable conservation of elephants and other wildlife in a modernizing Africa. Former Miss Supranational South Africa, Belinde Schreuder, is an ambassador for this organization. She invited Miss Supranational, Valeria Vazquez, Mister Supranational, Prathamesh Maulingkar, and Mister Supranational South Africa, Rushil Jina, to learn more about these majestic creatures during a two hour visit to ‘Adventures With Elephants’.
Poaching is a huge problem in African and many wildlife species are threatened by people who capture or kill them illegally for their fur, horns, tusks or skin. The RHCRU exists in memory of Rory Hensman who made it his mission to give value to elephants by helping people understand them and their value to the world better. His sons Mike and Sean have vowed to continue their father’s mission.
Tourists can visit Adventures with Elephants to learn more about these creatures while research is being by the RHCRU at the same time. An adult elephant consumes up to 300kg of food daily – overpopulation in game parks can have a disastrous effects on its ecosystem while underpopulation can threaten the existence of these incredible creatures.
Speaking after the visit, Miss Supranational, Valeria Vazquez said “I learnt so much today and it was incredible to get up and close to African elephants after getting close to elephants in Thailand. What I love the most is that here they use positive reinforcement to train the elephants. They have trusting and loving bonds with the staff and owners and they do not get trained through fear. Elephants are really smart and their incredible sense of smell can be used to help humans. I learnt that they can detect scents from up to 4km away and this can be used to help us track down poachers, human traffickers and even diseases. The work that is being done at the Rory Hensman Conservation and Research Unit is not only valuable but it is beautiful because they are trying everything they can to protect the future of these beautiful creatures.”
For more information or to make a small donation that will go towards food for the elephants, please visit www.rhrcu.com