M&Z Jeep answer To the cry Of the Rhino

Home Front Page News M&Z Jeep answer To the cry Of the Rhino

 Donna Collins


THE plight of the Rhino has never been more critical than now. And anyone who tuned into the Carte Blanche TV programme on Sunday night will have witnessed the brutal method poachers use to hack the horns off these animals whilst they are still alive. A ruthless act that is stopping at nothing to destroy what is left of this protected species.

Here in Namibia the Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) which was formed to reduce poaching and save these animals from the brink of extinction in 1982 is fighting this ongoing battle. And after three decades of SRT’s pioneering efforts out in the field and collaboration with the Namibian government, WWF and communities, the black rhino population is stable.

The constant need for funding and 4×4 tracking vehicles to protect Namibia’s black Rhino in our country is a challenge – a call which was answered by M&Z Motors Jeep recently who handed over a special edition Conservation Jeep Wrangler at the Motor Expo last week.

It was a milestone moment, when Stephan Enslin (Sales Manager M&Z Jeep) handed the keys to a brand new four-door Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 3.6L V6 A5  to Marcia Fargnoli (CEO Safe the Rhino Trust Namibia).  The fully sponsored Conservation Jeep Wrangler to the value of N$515 990 “will certainly be put to good use and couldn’t have come at a better time to assist us with our challenging Rhino conservation protection,”  said a delighted Marcia, adding that this the first time a local motor dealership has assisted their operation with a vehicle.

SRT’s rhino conservation work in the country is hugely important, on both a national and international level. All species living in the rhino range benefit from the reintroduction of rhino, through increased surveillance, patrolling, and monitoring of animals in general. Individual population statistics are confidential to protect against targeted poaching, which is where the need for vehicles comes into play.

Based on the Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited Sahara models, the Conservation Edition vehicles have been built in limited numbers in conjunction with the Reserve Protection Agency (RPA), a non-profit and public benefit organisation at the forefront of the protection of South Africa’s endangered wildlife species, specifically focusing on protecting our diminishing rhino population.

Powered by either the award winning 3.6 litre V6 Pentastar petrol engine or the frugal 2.8 litre Common Rail diesel engine, the Jeep Wrangler Conservation Edition aims to raise further awareness of the plight of our endangered species countrywide and, thanks to its unique livery, stands out from the crowd with an assortment of additional extras.

All buyers of the Conservation Edition will receive: Mopar Light bar with four spot lights, Mopar fuel filler cap, Mopar tail light guards; Unique and eye-catching Conservation Edition decaling;

Currently Namibia holds about 28% of Africa’s black rhinos and is the stronghold of the South Western subspecies (Diceros bicornis bicornis). With more than 91% of the total population of this taxon found in Namibia (primarily in Etosha National Park, Waterberg Plateau Park and in the Kunene Region), and rhino numbers increasing steadily under a well-established and innovative conservation and management programme.

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) which was established in 1990 is also responsible for the safeguarding Namibia’s environmental resources and maintain adequate standards of protection given the poaching crisis.

The Jeep Wrangler Conservation Edition is a limited production run of only 50 vehicles (40 Wrangler Unlimited and 10 Wrangler) and is available with a choice of three exterior colours; Anvil, Dune or White. They are available in three guises – the Wrangler Sahara 3.6L V6 A5 N$ 475 990.00; the  Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 3.6L V6 A5 N$ 515 990.00 and the Wrangler Unlimited Sahara 2.8L CRD A5 N$ 569 990.