Today is Dr Ian Player’s birthday. All of us on the Save our iMfolozi Wilderness Campaign fondly remember him as a great human being, a conservationist and an advocate of Wilderness. He sadly passed away on 30 November 2014
Dr Ian Player is mostly remembered for his sterling work in saving the White Rhino in iMfolozi that brought the species back from the brink of extinction.
He recognised the value of Wilderness both for its role in the preservation of biodiversity and for its immense benefits to the human psyche. It is due to his efforts that the iMfolozi Wilderness area was established in the late 1950’s.
Sadly, the iMfolozi Wilderness and the White Rhino are now faced with an unprecedented combination of threats. Rhino poaching has reached an frightening level of severity, and the Mfolozi Wilderness and indeed the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park is facing an onslaught of coal mining applications that threaten it with deproclamation.
It is thanks to Dr Ian Player that we have the iMfolozi Wilderness and the White Rhino today. It is up to us now to make sure that his work is not in vain.