Headed up by former South African cricketer Mark Boucher, The Boucher Legacy was founded in 2012 when Mark retired from international cricket and turned his passion and commitment to wildlife conservation.
The Boucher Legacy comprises of three key pillars:
The Boucher Legacy is aiming to get every living rhino onto a DNA database housed at the University of Pretoria’s Onderstepoort campus. We are doing this through the use of the Rhino DNA Indexing System (RhODIS), which was developed by Dr Cindy Harper at the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Veterinary Science. A full database of all our rhinos’ DNA will enable law enforcement to link the poaching of a particular rhino carcass to a perpetrator, which greatly increases the likelihood of poachers being convicted and brought to book.
Thanks to samples collected thus far, convicted rhino poachers are currently serving a total of 300 years behind bars.
The DNA of over 50% of all living rhinos has been loaded onto the DNA database thus far. However, over 10 000 samples still need to be collected. It costs approximately $1090.00 to collect a DNA sample from a single rhino. This cost includes helicopters, vets and specialised skills and equipment needed to collect DNA samples.
Along with its DNA database efforts, The Boucher Legacy is partnering with Dr Sam Ferreira and the South African National Parks’ Veterinary Services to track rhino in certain focus areas. This will help us understand the movement of rhino in areas where poaching is most prevalent.
Furthermore, this research is enabling us to unearth valuable information and statistics that will be used to further our rhino conservation and protection activities well into the future.
Education is key if we have any hope of saving our precious rhino. In many cultures, it is believed that rhino horn is a cure for a vast array of ailments – everything from cancer to hangovers.
This is not true. Rhino horn has absolutely no scientifically-proven medical benefits.
Tragically, these myths have created a global demand for rhino horn, turning it into a commodity and status symbol. Poachers will go to almost any lengths to hack the horns off our rhinos here in Africa, and sell them for a huge profit overseas.
Only by educating people about the myths surrounding rhino horn can we hope to reduce the demand. It is only in a handful of countries that this dangerous myth is being perpetuated, and by working towards expelling the myth, we can eventually eliminate the demand. While global education has a significant cost implication, the rewards are immense.
The Boucher Legacy has achieved high levels of support through media exposure, which has rallied the public as well as sports teams such as The Proteas, South Africa’s national cricket team – which has even dedicated test match days to The Boucher Legacy programme.
But we can’t do it without YOU
All of our initiatives, from obtaining and listing each rhino’s unique DNA to educating people to dispel the terrible myths surrounding rhino horn, come at great levels of investment. The Boucher Legacy has big dreams and even bigger goals, but we cannot complete our work without you, our supporters who want to preserve this precious species as much as we do.
With your help, we can make a massive difference. Making a donation is simple, and will help us to make our impact felt. Support the Boucher Legacy, and be sure to share this cause with others who share our passion. Through The Boucher Legacy, we aim to raise R10 million during 2019. This money will be used to focus on our core pillars of rhino conservation and help us continue our journey to save the rhino, pangolin and other dwindling species from extinction at the hands of humans.