Last month, Ol Pejeta Conservancy CEO Richard Vigne paid a special visit Cambridge to meet 6¾-year-old Frankie Benstead.
Frankie is spearheading his own fundraising and awareness campaign, RhinosUp, to try to save the endangered northern white rhino. Only three of the species; Sudan, Najin and Fatu remain, with the trio all being cared for and protected at the Kenyan Conservancy.
Speaking ahead of his trip, Richard said: “I am making a special trip to the UK to meet with Frankie.
“I am amazed at what this formidable young man has managed to achieve at such a young age. If only the world were made of more people like him, we would not be facing the extinction crisis that we currently are. The northern white rhinos need all the help they can get, and what Frankie is doing will make a huge difference in how we protect them and for the survival of the species,” he added.
The son of a tea planter, Richard was born in Kericho in western Kenya. He studied Zoology at Newcastle University before working as the operations manager for a safari company in Uganda and western Zaire.
In 1994, he returned to the UK to complete a Masters degree in Management for Agricultural Development, prior to taking up his current position as CEO of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy.
Frankie’s fundraising goal is to raise a massive £48,000 – the equivalent of the cost of a rhino horn on the black market. In his eyes, this is a modest target if we are to “show that poaching and extinction has to end.”
If you would like to support Frankie’s RhinosUp fundraising campaign, you can do so via his JustGiving Page. You can also keep up to date with how his campaign is progressing by liking his Facebook page and following his Twitter and Instagram accounts.