Behati, how did you get involved with Save the Rhino Trust?
BEHATI PRINSLOO: I’m from Namibia, so conservation has always been a passion. Then, when I had my two kids, it all just fell into place. I realized that I could use the platform I’ve made for myself through modeling to do something good.
What are your earliest memories of being out in the wilderness?
BP: My dad is very adventurous. He would drive me and my mom all over Namibia. We’d go off for days and days, take our own water, gas, everything. I remember feeling so connected to nature—and so vulnerable. My favorite thing would be to sit and watch a water hole at night and see all the different animals come to drink. Rhinos are normally very solitary, but there you’d see two moms with calves meet and interact with each other. It was a powerful experience.
BP: When I was in Namibia, the Save the Rhino Trust trackers told me that some of their kids have never even seen a rhino. That really got to me.
BP: It was cool to see how SRT is really trying to get the community involved, and say, “These are our animals, and we have to save them.” Local people, conservation groups, and ambassadors like us all need to band together.
BP: I went tracking with the SRT team in Damaraland, which is an extremely rocky region in central Namibia. That area has been free of poaching for 22 months now, and we think it’s because of the amount of people who are on the ground, basically giving a damn. I felt so proud of my country and how everyone is coming together. There’s still a lot that needs doing, but the trip gave me real hope.
BP: When people go to Africa for the first time, they see this life force in front of them that is peaceful and beautiful and kind—and they want to get involved.
BP: We need to inspire young people to look up from their phones and take action on conservation and climate change. I want them to know that they can make a difference.