Shashahay Acharya, Sportstar | June 5, 2020
A swashbuckling batsman, a former England captain and now a noted cricket commentator – Kevin Pietersen has donned multiple caps in his long and illustrious career.
But these days, he spends a good amount of time towards conservation of the rhinos. He plans to relaunch his charity, Save our Rhino Africa/India (SORAI) in India on September 22 and is looking forward to the project.
On World Environment Day, as efforts are being taken to conserve nature and wildlife, Pietersen feels that India has done an incredible job in terms of protecting the rhinos.
“Rhino horn is the most expensive commodity in the black market. It fetches between 65 to 85 thousand US dollars. In May, there has been a rhino that has been killed in the Kaziranga National Park. But actually in India, they have the most wonderful and probably it’s their best conservation project ever in the numbers of rhinos that they are now, where they are having to transport and relocate rhinos out of Kaziranga National Park because of how brilliantly they have protected the animals,” Pietersen told Sportstar in an interaction recently.
“So, India is certainly the world leader in the protection of rhino and they have done the most fantastic job and shooting the National Geographic documentary in March opened my eyes and made me so proud with my association with India,” he said.
His charity SORAI, too, has some plans, when it launches.
“We will have a range of clothing, which we will be selling in India, in the UK and around the world. 20 per cent of the profit will be going to the CWS in India for all the merchandise that’s sold in India, which protects the animal, human-wildlife conflict in India, protects the Indian rhinos, the elephants and make sure that the animals in India live a better life and we are completely committed and dedicated to making sure that endangered species don’t go extinct. We are incredibly excited about the range of clothing that’s coming out,” Pietersen said.
But what are the specific plans to safeguard the Indian rhinos?
“Well, you will have to wait and watch the documentary where we have put together an app with our technology partner Cisco. We have made some wonderful strides in making sure that humans and wildlife don’t come in to contact as badly as they do on some occasions and when there are those catastrophic floods, the humans can protect the animals, etc. The documentary is going to be a beautiful piece that’s been shot on India,” Pietersen said.
A lot of people have come forward to help him on the project. But does he plan to engage any of the Indian cricketers for the same?
“Rohit Sharma puts my rhino on his bat. He is brilliantly dedicated to saving the endangered species. He is a wonderful man of conservation and is somebody who is right at the forefront of that conservation space in India. He is a great guy,” the former cricketer said.
He has also expressed his ‘disgust’ over the inhuman incident in Kerala, where a pregnant elephant was fed pineapple stuffed with firecrackers.
“DISGUSTED with the images I’ve been sent from India overnight over the senseless brutality of this mummy elephant. Why would someone do this?!?! Just why?!?”
Pietersen posted on Instagram with photos of the dastardly incident. The brutal incident of animal abuse happened in Palakkad district of Kerala, which led to the death of the elephant.