A brave member of staff at West Midland Safari Park has gone above and beyond to fundraise for the conservation of threatened rhinos.
Whilst the rest of the Park’s staff gear up for May half term’s Rhino Week (a week dedicated to the conservation of rhinos), Colin Mclarty, Electrician at the Park, is recovering from running the London Marathon, all on behalf of raising funds for Save the Rhino International (SRI).
With only three months training behind him, Colin managed to charge around the whole 26 miles in a fantastic time of 3 hours, 29 minutes and 55 seconds. With the help from generous colleagues, friends, family and associated suppliers, Colin has so far raised over £2800. This fantastic sum will go towards helping SRI protect and increase rhino numbers across Africa and Asia.
Colin said, “I decided to run the London Marathon for Save the Rhino after receiving an email from the Park’s conservation team, just 12 weeks before the race. Running the London Marathon is a once in a lifetime opportunity and with being able to raise money for a great charity at the same time, I couldn’t say no. I followed a 12 week training programme with a short break for a week’s holiday which had been booked previously. This meant I had to train six days a week with a long run on Sundays.”
He continued, “I really didn’t expect to raise as much money as I did and I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone again for their support. It’s the people that donate that really make the difference. I would also like to mention that the Save The Rhino team were fantastic, they really made everyone’s contribution feel appreciated and they had obviously worked really hard to organise an excellent day and experience for all the runners. Big thanks to Save The Rhino and WMSP for the opportunity!”
Not to be outdone, rhino keepers at the Park have a whole host of activities and events planned from 27 May – 4 June, to also raise money for Save the Rhino International. Rhino Week will promote the plight of these magnificent animals and will highlight the work the Park does to aid in the conservation of rhinos around the world.
Guests will be able to become a ‘rhino ranger’ and take part in an interactive trail to receive a prize. There will be rhino-themed arts and crafts, the chance to meet ‘Ekozu’ the baby rhino costume character and competitions to win some amazing money-can’t-buy experiences.
Additionally, local artist Zaza Shelley, will be producing some beautiful limited edition prints of the Park’s spectacular rhinos. A percentage of proceeds from sales of the rhino prints will go towards SRI. Prints are available to purchase from the conservation section on Zaza’s website.
In honour of Rhino Week the Park is also hosting a public evening event on 9 June, where guests will hear from Josephine Gibson from SRI. Refreshments will be included and after the talk, guests will get a tour around the Indian rhino house, where they will get to meet the residents!
All the proceeds from Rhino Week will go directly to SRI and will support the Save the Rhino Trust for projects in both Africa and Asia. To find out more, visit www.savetherhino.org.
Rhino Week is included in West Midland Safari Park’s standard admission charge of £23.00 for adults, £18.00 for children aged 3-15 and £21.00 for concessions. Admission includes a voucher for a return visit or safari gift. Adventure Theme Park rides are charged extra. To book a place on the evening event, email