SA’s youngest hero wins international conservation award

Hunter Mitchell

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10-year-old Capetonian, Hunter Mitchell took second place at the International Eco-Hero Youth Awards held by Action for Nature earlier this month.

Hunter has been raising awareness and money for Ostina, an orphaned rhino in the Western Cape for over two years in a project he calls Save the Baby Rhino with Hunter.

According to Getaway Magazine, Action For Nature (AFN) is a US-based non-profit organisation that has been rewarding youth across the globe, between the ages of 8 and 16, who are tackling environmental problems, with cash prizes, in recognition of their efforts since 2003. Hunter came in second after 12-year-old Nikita from Ukraine.

According to Action For Nature, Hunter heard about a baby rhino that had been abandoned by his mother back in 2015. He was relieved when it was later announced on social media that the rhino had been rescued and was safe. Hunter knew at that moment that he wanted to help this baby by raising money to look after him.

“I knew that every rhino life counted and each rhino needed every chance to survive as they are so endangered,” said Hunter. Hunter started off donating his pocket money and then asked his family and friends in South Africa and overseas to help.

He set up a social media page, with his mom’s help, to keep people updated about the baby rhino, and to reach more people.

Over time, Hunter’s project grew beyond fundraising to also teach others about the plight of rhinos and how to help, with a modest goal of R1000.

Today, Hunter has raised over R200 000 to help save and raise orphaned rhinos and to train anti-poaching teams. Hunter has spread the word to over 10 000 kids from South Africa, Australia, and Asia. – The Conversation

Watch the video below to find out more about Hunter Mitchell and his Save the Baby Rhino: