Hollywood actor and film producer Paul Blackthorne (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Hollywood actor and film producer Paul Blackthorne met with local press agencies and over 500 students of the Thang Long University in Hanoi on May 20 to talk about rhino protection.

The event kicked off the “Save the Rhino Vietnam” campaign initiated by the actor, the Vietnam Education for Nature (ENV) and the Save the Rhino International Organisation to raise Vietnamese awareness of using rhinoceros horns, and to raise funds for protecting the species.

 The campaign was launched in April and has seen the engagement of several renowned international and home figures such as Mesut Ozil, Mathieu Flamini and Calum Chambers from the Premier League club Arsenal; Hollywood stars Stephen Amell, Matt Smith and John Barrowman; and two Vietnamese Rhino Ambassadors - well known comedian Xuan Bac and diva Hong Nhung. 

According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, if poaching continues to increase at current rates, rhinos could become extinct in the wild by as soon as 2026.

Director of the ENV Vu Thi Quyen said it is necessary to intensify legal enforcement activities to combat the illicit trading and smuggling of rhinoceres horns from overseas to Vietnam.

She added activities to increase the public’s awareness on eliminating erroneous traditions on the benefits of this species’ horn should also be strengthened.

Born in the UK in 1969, Paul Blackthorne is a committed social activist in wildlife conservation who has implemented a range of activities calling for joint global efforts to save wild animals, especially rhinoceres and elephant. 

In April 2015, he launched a campaign entitled “Poach eggs, not elephants” to raise funds for elephant protection and seven months later, he launched another campaign “Keep rhinos horny” for saving the rhinoceres.-VNA