Animal welfare got a recent boost when Bridgestone South Africa donated a set of tyres to a bakkie used by the National Council for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The bakkie is used by the NSPCA’s wildlife unit as a ‘disaster vehicle’ to respond to animal emergencies.
“We were very pleased to assist when the NSPCA approached us,” said Bridgestone’s General Manager of Marketing, Tony Burns. “The NSPCA does valuable work, often under difficult conditions and with limited funding, and we were glad to be able to keep their disaster vehicle on the move.”
Bridgestone has been involved in animal welfare and conservation activities for several years. One of the beneficiaries has been the Cape Leopard Trust which not only focuses on the protection of these large cats, but also plays a major role in wildlife education and raises awareness among children. Bridgestone has also provided free tyre training to numerous SANParks employees to help raise awareness of tyre safety and extend tyre life.
“One of our ongoing conservation activities is our involvement with the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s ‘roadkill’ project,” Burns commented. “This fascinating initiative started with a pilot project into the number of animals killed by traffic, and then progressed to a full study in the Pilanesberg in 2014.”
The Pilanesberg roadkill study showed that driver distraction was a major contributor to roadkills, with the researchers placing fake animals on the road and then noting the circumstances under which drivers either avoided or drove over them. The study is being rolled out to several other locations nationwide, and the roadkill team is currently busy with a survey in Addo in the Southern Cape.
“We call on the public to join us in assisting organisations which promote the welfare and conservation of animals,” Burns concluded.