Nature has been the lifeblood of humankind’s existence ever since homo naledi and its descendants set foot onto what is now The Cradle of Humankind.
We are all connected to the natural world around us. It’s a dependency that has been admired by civilisations from the Khoisan, who smeared silhouettes of antelope across cave walls around 22 000 years ago, to the Zulu warriors who adorned the iconic leopard skin to express their prowess, and today, where people travel from all over the world to see South Africa’s rich wildlife and biodiversity.
The very natural life that has sustained human existence throughout the ages is under threat. Poaching and illegal trawling are soaring due to the illegal wildlife trade and entire ecosystems are being steam-rolled by urban, industrial and mining development and to make way for agriculture, biofuel production and coal-fired power stations.
National Red List assessments indicate that of the 100 000 known South African fauna and flora species, 10% of birds and frogs, 20% of mammals, 13% of plants, and as much as 82% of main river ecosystems are threatened, along with 50% of wetlands which have already been destroyed.
Conservationists like Elise Serfontein are fighting for the future of South Africa’s wildlife and biodiversity. Through the non-profit organisation, StopRhinoPoaching.com, Elise raises awareness and funds to combat rhino poaching and calls upon every South African to take action. “We are all connected to nature. Our survival depends on it and if we let it slip, there’s no getting it back. The rhino is a symbol of our wild spaces and South Africa is the species’ last remaining stronghold. If we don’t act now, iconic species like rhino will become symbols of humankind’s failure as custodians of our planet,” says Serfontein.
Wixworth’s connection to wildlife lies in the unique botanical, renosterbos (Elytropappus Rhinocerotics). The indigenous shrub is the essence of Wixworth Classic Gin’s flavour and also the link behind the brand’s rhino conservation initiative. Renosterbos or ‘rhino bush’ gets its name from the majestic creatures that once roamed freely across South Africa – when dried in the sun, the colour of the shrub’s leaves can be compared to the same shade of grey of a rhino’s hide.
“Renosterbos is the lifeblood of Wixworth Classic Gin, so paying it forward in the name of rhino conservation was a natural fit for the brand. We believe that saving endangered wildlife from extinction is something we can all collectively raise a glass to, which is why we’ve committed to donating a portion of funds generated from each unit sale of Wixworth Classic Gin to StopRhinoPoaching.com,” says Zonja Penzhorn, Wixworth brand manager at The Really Great Brand Company (RGBC).
Wixworth recently donated R51 000.00 to StopRhinoPoaching.com. The proceeds were generated from unit sales of Wixworth Classic Gin and are being used to fund Welgevonden Game Reserve’s K9 unit – a proactive anti-poaching initiative that aims to help secure rhino in the Greater Marakele Security Cluster.
It’s more important than ever for big business and civil society worldwide to play their part in protecting our wildlife and creating a sustainable future. UN World Wildlife Day and Earth Hour both occur in March and Wixworth urges every South African to #DoOneThingToday to help conserve the world’s biodiversity. Remember, when you buy a bottle of Wixworth Classic Gin, you are contributing to wildlife conservation!
Wixworth Classic Gin is available from Makro stores nationwide or on Takealot.com and at selected liquor stores and restaurants nationwide, for the recommended retail price of R299.
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