What were you doing when you were seven? How many opinions had you formed and how much did you really feel strongly about?

Seven-year-old Grayden Auchinloss visited Londolozi last December with his family. Greg Pingo was their ranger and Equalizer Ndlovu their tracker, and the insightful and layered experience provided by these two inspired Grayden. From Greg teaching him the difference between a leopard and a cheetah, Equalizer teaching him to track, and witnessing incredible animal sightings like a leopard kill, hyena cubs at their den and everything in between, Grayden’s visit was wonderfully educational as well as fun-filled.

Spotting something in the distance.

Sitting in the tracking seat on Christmas day.

The impala dung spitting competition!

However, it was the plight of the rhinos in Africa that most captured Grayden’s attention. With escalating poaching across the continent to fuel the illegal trade in rhino horn, things are reaching a critical level, and many international organisations and donors are stepping in to lend a hand.
Grayden was so passionate about the rhinoceros’ predicament that he felt compelled to step in to lend a hand…
Over the Northern Hemisphere winter, Grayden’s first grade class at Pace Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, participated in the Smithsonian Science Fair. The class was divided into groups and through Grayden’s insistence, his group decided to work on something to aid the anti-poaching efforts in Southern Africa. They decided to construct a drone to help locate would-be poachers from the air. The rules of the Science Fair required them not only to design the drone but actually construct it too. They spent an entire semester deciding on, sketching debating over and finally building the prototype.
183 different groups from around the world participated in the Science Fair, and although they didn’t walk away with top honours, Grayden and his team received an Honourable Mention.

Grayden sees himself going into a future in the conservation field, and it is young men like him that are truly set to define the future of wildlife on this planet, not just by their attitudes but by their actions as well, which we all know speak louder than words.

Grayden, we look forward to you and your family’s return visit to Londolozi!

Filed under Guests

About the Author

James Tyrrell

Photographic Guide/Media Team

James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills were well developed, and he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team as a result. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the photographic skills ...

View James's profile

8 Comments

on Seven-Year-Old Combats Poaching

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Marinda Drake

It is heart warming to know someone is out there raising awereness for the plight of our rhinos. Well done Graydon. This is a cause that is very close to my heart.

Katie Sandlin

Awesome job Grayden!! I’m so proud and inspired by your dedication to wildlife conservation. Your passion makes me smile 🙂

Irene Nathanson

Way to go Grayden

Denise Vouri

This is where conservation and empathy begins – educating children. Kudos to Greg and Equalizer for not only teaching Grayson about bush life but to inspire him to continue his interest and excitement back to his classroom.

Mary Beth Wheeler

Great job, Grayden! Keep those innovative conservation ideas coming – we need smart thinkers like you if we are to save our animals!

Wendy Macnicol

Hi Grayden!
Good for you to take up the Rhino Problem and design a drone with your friends! We in South Africa are very. very concerned about our poor rhinos – not only because of how few are left, but also because of the pain they go through when poachers hack the horn out and they may be just injured, and not dead yet, and can feel everything! It is cruel and pointless, isn’t it? Thank you again, Grayden, for your care. Keep it up! Wendy

A B

God bless him! And let him be an inspiration to others.

Rich Laburn

Well done Grayden, it is inspiring to see young people taking action for a better planet. Good luck with all your future projects and innovations in this space.

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