Leonardo DiCaprio, Edward Norton, Blink-182′s Mark Hoppus, and other celebrities turned to Twitter recently to raise awareness about rhino poaching and support a solution.
Twenty-five celebrities spread the word on behalf of the Zoological Society of London in hopes of landing them as “fan favorite” for the Google Global Impact Award. With their tweets reaching over 20 million people, their efforts paid off and ZSL won the £500,000 grant from Google.
This new funding will install cameras with automated sensors in poaching hotspots around Tsavo National Park in Kenya. Over the next two years, this will mean hundreds of animals saved from gangs of armed poachers who kill thousands every year. These high-tech cameras can detect vehicles from vibrations, triangulate the sound of gunshots, and instantly transmit images of the intruders, arming park rangers with vital information for swift interventions.
“It’s fantastic to have won this important Google grant, and we couldn’t have done it without the overwhelming support from our VIP friends and the public,” says James Wren, director of fundraising for ZSL. “These life-saving cameras will help stop the slaughter of rhinos, elephants, and more, before it’s too late.”
ZSL’s field conservation director, Professor Jonathan Baillie, predicts that poaching in Tsavo National Park will go down 50% in two years, thanks to these cameras.
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