An ambassador girl scout from Ponte Vedra who is currently working toward her Gold Award has created a social media awareness program that focuses on saving the remaining rhino population from poaching and ultimately extinction.
Miranda Van Zyl’s passion for protecting rhinos developed after she watched a March 2017 news broadcast on the death of a 4-year-old white rhino at the hands of poachers in a French zoo. The incident shook Van Zyl and led her to establish the “USARhinoHero” awareness program.
Van Zyl has been actively promoting her awareness program on social media for the last four months, regularly posting rhino facts, educational articles and updates on poaching incidents. She has also visited many zoos with rhino exhibits as part of her research for the Gold Award, which is the highest award a girl scout can achieve.
“These one-on-one interactions have been a one-of-a-kind experience, and have taught me so much,” said Van Zyl.
According to the girl scout, rhinos are being poached at high rates across the world for their horns, which could force the entire species into extinction within the next decade.
"Rhinos are being poached throughout Africa and Asia at an estimated rate of ten to 15 rhinos every day," noted Van Zyl. "Statistics are inaccurate because not all African nations report poaching figures, because of the negative impact that this type of publicity may have on their local tourism."
To learn more about Van Zyl's campaign, search for USARhinoHero on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.