One of the most memorable jobs I was sent on during my time working for BBC Radio 5 live involved a helicopter flight through the Kruger National Park in South Africa. I was there with a producer and presenter making a podcast with the former England cricketer, Kevin Pietersen.
Kevin is leading a campaign to save the rhino from poachers who kill them for their horn. It’s a cruel and illegal industry driven by a misguided belief in some parts of the world that ground up Rhino horn has medicinal benefits. It has been proven not to as the horn is made of the same keratin as is found in human finger and toe nails.
One of the tasks during our five day filming and recording trip was to go to a site where a rhino mother and her calf had recently been killed so we could see for ourselves the horror of poaching. The National Park’s air wing – who assist ground patrols with helicopters – agreed to take us with them on a mission into the famous Kruger park in one of their AS350 Squirrel helicopters.
It was an amazing experience, flying low over the park. We saw herds of elephants, hippos and giraffes as well as rhinos. Brad, our pilot, was able to get us in pretty close so I could get some great shots with my camera. Check out the news piece below to find out more about the story. You can listen to the podcast we made, called ‘Beast Of Man’ via my audio producer page. All the pictures filmed in South Africa, both of the wildlife and of Kevin was done by me.