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.
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!