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Watch out for a rhino walking across Devon’s national parks this summer

PUBLISHED: 15:35 27 June 2016 | UPDATED: 16:58 29 June 2016

If you see a rhino in the pub, it might be David Trevis

If you see a rhino in the pub, it might be David Trevis

Archant

A teacher dressed as a rhino will walk across Devon with his daughter in August to raise money for conservation

Why did the rhino cross the road?Why did the rhino cross the road?

When teacher David Trevis steps out on a coast-to-coast trek across Devon this summer he will create quite a stir - as he intends to do all 130 miles while dressed as a rhinoceros.

David, 54, and his daughter Emma, 25, aim to set off from Wembury in the South Hams on 1 August and then follow the Two Moors Way across the county, finishing in Lynmouth.

They are raising money for the charity Save the Rhino and Marwell Wildlife to raise money for anti-poaching patrols for the Dambari Wildlife Trust in Zimbabwe.

The distinctive rhino outfit - which has been nicknamed Erica - has previously been worn by marathon runners and other fundraisers. The costume is quite light so David hopes he will be able to cope with the summer temperatures during the walk. He’s been practising wearing the rhino in Somerset, as an entertaining YouTube video shows.

David, who teaches English at Millfield School in Somerset, has been fascinated by rhinos since going on childhood birthday visit to London Zoo. A one-off trip to East Africa in the 1980s allowed him to see a rhinoceros in the wild and he shares his enthusiasm with his daughter, Emma, who is also a teacher.

Explaining why rhinos are so endangered David said: “The value of rhino horn has become more valuable in recent years than gold, diamonds or cocaine. This has led to large scale, organised poaching particularly in the African rhinos’ heartland of Southern Africa.”

All five species of rhino have been struggling to survive in the modern world; habitat loss and the poaching of rhino horn for its supposed medicinal qualities has reduced numbers to barely sustainable levels.

David said: “Despite a number of recent initiatives such as de-horning animals or even dyeing their horns pink, most conservation relies on the brave work of anti-poaching patrols working in the African bush.

Unexpected rhino in bagging areaUnexpected rhino in bagging area

“Often faced by organised gangs with sophisticated technology and automatic weapons, it is important that those protecting the rhinos are as well-equipped as possible.”

David and Emma are working in conjunction not only with Save the Rhino but also Marwell Zoo who are committed to a rhino conservation programme in Zimbabwe, the Dambari Wildlife Trust.

Together they are using the walk as an opportunity, not only for fund-raising but for educating young people into the crisis facing rhinos across the world. A number of money-raising ventures have already taken place such as a sponsored walk up Snowdon, a Krispy Kreme sale and a talk by Annabel Claridge , the author of Rhino Farm.

You can support the fundraising effort by going to the Team Trev Just Giving page and making a donation.

David and Emma are supporting the conservation work of Marwell Wildlife ParkDavid and Emma are supporting the conservation work of Marwell Wildlife Park

David and Emma hope friends and supporters will join them and Erica, their rhino, on their hike across Dartmoor and Exmoor in August.

Monday 1 August: Wembury to Ivybridge

Tuesday 2 August: Ivybridge to Holne

Wednesday 3 August: Holne to Widdecombe

Thursday 4 August: Widdecombe to Drewsteignton

Friday 5 August: Drewsteignton to Morchard Bishop

Saturday 6 August: Morchard Bishop to Knowstone

Sunday 7 August: Knowstone to Withypool

Monday 8 August: Withypool to Simonsbath

Tuesday 9 August: Simonsbath to Lymington

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