Showing up Big for Rhinos

The Mafikeng Lions care about rhinos. And they want the world to care, too. While they celebrate World Rhino Day every year, this year they tried something special.

They partnered with the International School of South Africa and recruited 780 staff, students, and Lions and Leos of the Mafikeng club to come together on the school’s cricket oval to form an aerial image of a rhino.

According to Mafikeng Club President Rusty Hustler, the biggest challenge was figuring out how to transfer the image of the rhino in order to accommodate the 780 people. This was done applying GPS coordinates to an image and then plotting the coordinates on the ground. “We then had to join them up and adjust so that we didn’t have a robotic rhino,” says Hustler. It took several days of plotting and readjusting, and they were still adjusting it one hour before they were about to start, according to Hustler.

The resulting rhino covered an area of 720 square meters.

The project was part of the Multiple District 410 awareness campaign Lions4Rhinos and the Mafikeng Lions hope that spreading the video and the pictures of the event will raise awareness of their plight. “My dream is that our International President will some day present the plight of our rhino during our United Nations Day, and encourage the United Nations to take up the challenge and assist in combatting the poaching,” says Hustler.