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Rally 4 Rhinos Archives - Ares Armor

Mike Veale Geared Up to Fight Rhino Poaching

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Don’t bet against Mike Veale. He’s the cool guy pictured above and in the video below. If Mike wants to bet your summer vacation was more fun than his, he’s probably right. And don’t dare double down on a bet your summer vacation was more dangerous than his. Unless of course, you were also carrying a gun, machete, and tomahawk deep in the African bush trying to stop cold-blooded rhino killers.

This weekend, Mike Veale is off to the Kruger National Park in South Africa. He’s returning as a volunteer ranger to join the fight against the poaching and extinction of rhinoceros. Mike is really geared up this time and for good reason.

Rhinos are literally being wiped off the face of the earth. It’s happening at a truly alarming rate. On average, poachers kill three rhinos every day. They could all be gone by 2030 unless there is real change. One northern white rhino died this week. That means there are only 4 left in the world. Other species of rhinoceros have already been completely killed off.

You see, rhinos have a bounty on their head. It’s called a horn.

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These animals are stalked by ruthless criminals who chop off rhino horns to sell for big money on the black market. These people are not traditional hunters. They are not doing what it takes to feed their families. They are high-priced animal assassins supplying high-priced product in demand with certain customers.

Technically, this six-week trip is not even a vacation for Mike Veale. He’s pulling the trigger on another unpaid leave of absence from his job. It’s helpful his employer understands. Mike is a senior keeper at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and a best friend of the rhinos there.

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Don’t bet against Mike Veale, and his fellow rhino-saving rangers this time. Mike and his colleagues in Africa as well as in Asia are now benefiting from custom-designed tactical gear courtesy of Ares Armor Inc. According to Mike, being geared up battles in the bush is in fact a matter of survival of the fittest. “Our standard gear before was clunky, heavy, and visible,” he says. It really hurt rangers since we are already battling conditions where just about everything is against us. Now, having new kick-ass gear from Ares Armor totally customized for rangers in the bush, will be life-saving at times,” Mike adds. “Plus, it’s created a huge morale boost for our guys.”

Don’t bet against Mike Veale. He may be focused on saving rhinos from poaching and extinction. But he’s definitely doing it with the heart of a lion.

Ares Armor Inc. Supporting Rally 4 Rhinos

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Ares Armor, Inc. has just been named “The Official Tactical Gear of Rhinos Everywhere.” So, how does tac gear help rhinos, you ask? It can actually save lives. Let’s explore the facts from the 2015 Rally 4 Rhinos event.

The traditional media and social media event was just held around the world. Rally 4 Rhinos works to rally support for protecting rhinos. By the year 2030, the rhinoceros could be extinct. Gone. Of the five species of rhinoceros, there are less than 30,000 total on the planet. Don’t be fooled into thinking that sounds like a lot.

More than 2 of 3 of the world’s rhinos are found in Africa. Specifically, the majority of those are located in South Africa.

There is a whale of a problem with the Southern White and Black Rhinos in South Africa. The bad news is they are being killed at a rate faster than they can rebound. The worse news is the rate of rhinos being killed is rising…rapidly.

On average, a rhinoceros is killed every 8 hours. Or, at a rate of 3 to 4 per day.

  • From 2001 to 2012, it was reported 949 rhinos were killed.
  • In 2014 alone, 1215 rhinos were killed in South Africa.
  • This year, rhinoceros deaths are spiking. They are on pace for 1800 to 1900 being killed in 2015.

These deaths have nothing to do with Ebola. The rhinos being killed have everything to do with poaching. Southern White and Black Rhinos are killed for their horns which are sold on the black market. Thus, the need for a Rally 4 Rhinos.

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The biggest threat comes from Mozambique. Poachers from this country sell the horns to the Asian market. People in China, Vietnam, and Thailand pay anywhere from $30,000 to $45,000 per pound for rhino horns. Some want them as a status symbol. Others wrongly believe the keratin in rhino horns has special value to cure things from cancer to hangovers, and also act as an aphrodisiac. In these cases, the horns are grinded up, sold, and consumed.

Tactical Gear Where it is Needed Most

The Kruger National Park in South Africa is considered one of the greatest in the world. It spans more than 7500 square miles with hundreds of different species of wildlife including 147 kinds of mammals, including rhinoceros. Heavily armed and organized poachers mostly from Mozambique use high powered rifles, sophisticated scopes, night vision instruments, and more to slaughter the rhinos to sell their horns.

The South African government claims it is doing everything to protect the rhinos. Those in the know around the world aren’t buying it. The rising number of rhinos being killed also provides frightening facts which don’t lie.

Southern California Connection

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Mike Veale loves rhinos. He’s been a Senior Mammal Keeper at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park for nearly six years. Mike spent two years making contacts and learning how he could help in preventing the rhinoceros from becoming extinct. He then took a leap of faith a couple of years ago jumping right into the fight as an approved ranger to protect the rhinos from poaching.

Ranger Mike pays his own way. He takes unpaid extended leaves from his job at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park to travel to the western region of Kruger National Park. There, he works with other rangers to protect the rhinos from Mozambique Nationals and other killer poachers. These are dangerous missions indeed.

“Americans are 99% more aggressive than South Africans on the matter of poaching,” says Veale. “Here people always tell me to kill the poachers. That’s not our goal. Our primary goal is to protect the rhinos.”

Ares Armor Inc. is proud to be supporting the Rally 4 Rhinos movement. We are supplying tactical gear to help protect the rangers in their efforts to protect the rhinos. Our company has provided an array of products ranging from Combat 12 packs to various belts, pouches, and slings. “I’m extremely grateful,” says Veale. “I’m sharing this very important tactical gear among the top four ranger teams. It will really make a difference.”

The reality is rangers in South Africa are finding themselves in more fire fights as heavily armed poaching syndicates continue to grow more aggressive. “When you are on patrol, everything is against you, the elements, the poachers, and even your gear since you’re rigging it just to make it function, ” says Ranger Mike. “With quality, lightweight, tough, and long-lasting tactical gear it can keep rangers patrolling more effectively with better speed and precision. The new gear from Ares Armor allows us to get one step ahead of the poaching syndicates which will save more wildlife.”

Like most Americans, Bryce Stirlen, CEO of Ares Armor, Inc. believes in the Rally 4 Rhinos cause. “We have great respect for the rangers who risk their lives to protect the rhinos from senseless slaughter and extinction,” says Stirlen. “Providing our tactical gear to give the rangers an advantage over armed and dangerous poachers is something we’re pleased to do.”

#Rally4Rhinos   #StopKillingRhinos

 

 

 

 

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