The thought of working in conservation communication, helping to conserve some of Africa’s rare and endangered animals is a job that many people dream of, but often it is a lot less glamourous than one might imagine. To ensure that large-scale animal translocations achieve success requires months of planning and preparation from every organisation involved. This includes designing custom-made crates, sorting out permits, organising logistics, creating temporary holding facilities for the animals as well as making sure that every organisation involved is well-represented through effective conservation communication… and sometimes that means spending hours sticking stickers onto crates.

On a recent rhino translocation that saw 19 white rhinos moved from a reserve in South Africa to the safety of Mozambique’s Zinave National Park, the Peace Parks Foundation Communications team has a big task ahead. They need to stick about 480 stickers onto custom-made rhino crates so that every partner who has helped to make this momentous translocation possible is well-represented.

Before Peace Parks Communication’s Manager, Lise-Marie Greeff-Villet, begins the mammoth task ahead, she takes some time to explain why this is an important task. It is essential to acknowledge every partner involved in this project as they each had a very specific role to play in ensuring that these 19 white rhinos’ future is safeguarded. Without their expertise and knowledge, Peace Parks Foundation could not continue our work on the ground.

It’s not long until other Peace Parks staff arrive on the scene and lend a helping hand. Peace Parks Communications Coordinator, Lésa van Rooyen even has to pull a few interesting techniques out of the bag to ensure that all stickers are placed, going as far as using her vehicle as a ladder. Luckily Nicole Zoghby, the Peace Parks TV’s talented copywriter is on hand to keep spirits high and things moving along. In conservation communications projects like this, many hands make light work, and within a few hours, all 19 rhino crates have been completed and are ready for the rhino capture operation the following morning. Watch the rhino translocation series on Peace Parks TV, where we follow the journey from capture to release. 

Peace Parks would like to extend their thanks to all of the partners involved in this historic translocation, including Exxaro Resources, South Africa’s Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), the Mozambique Ministry of Land and the Environment, Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas (ANAC), the Mozambique Wildlife Alliance and Conservation Solutions with additional funding provided by the German Postcode Lottery and the MAVA Foundation.