Honouring conservationists

Zenoyise Madikwa

Zenoyise Madikwa

South African National Parks will tonight honour all those people who have contributed to conservation and environmental protection and education with its Kudu Awards.

The awards ceremony will take place at 7pm at Utopia Place, 840 Cura Avenue, Willow Glen, Pretoria.

According to Simphiwe Mthembu, general manager: media, events and stakeholder relations of South African National Parks, (SanParks), the Kudu Awards were developed as a token of appreciation for contributions in ensuring effective management of the country's national parks system.

The idea for the awards was mooted in 2003 and resulted in the first awards ceremony in 2005.

Mthembu said the awards were named after the kudu in line with the South African National Parks logo.

"The kudu in its natural habitat is a stately and majestic animal that presents itself with pride and elegance. It also has strength belied by its demeanor.

"The kudu has been hunted as a trophy because of its magnificence. The award is meant to be a thing of pride, just as people often exclaim about the majestic and proud bearing of the kudu," he said.

He said the awards spoke with the pride with which the organisation viewed the contributions of recipients.

Mthembu said: "The male kudus use their beautiful spiral horns to claim dominance. Opponents lock horns and wrestle until the weaker one gives up.

"With the Kudu Awards, we have eliminated the requirement of locking horns and butting heads in the hopes of winning a Kudu trophy," Mthembu explained.