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Utahns Bowl To Help Endangered Rhinos

The Hogle Zoo
A rhino at Utah's Hogle Zoo is photographed with bowling pins to raise awareness for rhino conservation

Bethany Bingham is a veterinary technician at the Utah Hogle Zoo and the president of the Utah Chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers. She said rhinos are endangered because of illegal logging and poaching in their natural habitats both in Asia and Africa.

The poaching of rhinos has grown in recent years as the horn has become worth more than gold.

“All five species are effected by poaching. That’s the number one thing,” Bingham said. “They’re poached for their horn because people believe that it has medicinal healing properties, and those are in countries such as China and Vietnam. Those are the two biggest consumers, if you will, of rhino horn and the two main drivers behind poaching.”

Over the weekend, 150 bowlers met in Salt Lake City and raised $17,000 for rhino conservation as part of the Bowling for Rhinos fundraiser.

According to Bingham, the money raised is given to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya where it is used for anti-poaching units and equipment to relocate rhinos.

“I’ve seen firsthand kind of how the money is working,” Bingham said. “I’ve seen some of the aircraft. I’ve seen, you know, the trucks. I’ve seen the dogs and some of the training that the anti-poaching dogs have gone through and the men and women that work with them. I’ve seen some of the fencing that needs repair that our money is helping to repair. You know, I’ve been able to see some of that and it’s amazing.”

The Bowling for Rhinos fundraiser was started 25 years ago by a group of zoo keepers. In the last 25 years, it has raised over $5 million nationwide.