Youngster invents a game to save rhino

03 April 2014 - 02:01 By David Macgregor
Rhino. File photo.
Rhino. File photo.
Image: Bruce Gorton

A 10-year-old East London schoolboy has turned his love of rhinos into a board game to try to save the endangered species from extinction.

Inspired by Thandi, the Sunshine Coast rhino who somehow survived after her horn was hacked off by poachers, Riley Devan created the unique game as a way to protect Eastern Cape rhino from being wiped out.

The Selborne Primary School Grade 5 pupil said he decided to try to help raise funds for conservation after his school participated in the Rooting for Rhino campaign that involved hundreds of schoolchildren across South Africa standing and joining hands in a rhino formation.

"I really do love rhino and I will do anything I can to try save them," he said.

The game is played by Rolling the Rhino dice and points are scored depending on which way they land. If they land on their feet, the name Thandi appears and a player scores the highest number of points as she survived despite her horn being cut off.

If the dice land on their sides, then the names of rhino that died in Eastern Cape appear and the score is less.

After spending a few hours brainstorming with his parents, Rowan and Meg Devan, the youngster came up with the game Riley's Rally for Rhino.

"My Dad and I were having a chat one day about our favourite animals and I figured out that both of us had the same animal at the top of our list - the rhino," he explained.

Explaining how the game came about, he said: "I began to think about how sad it would be if rhinos were extinct by the time I was old enough to have this conversation with my own child, so we all decided we would do what we could to help raise money for the great organisations working to save these creatures."

He said his fund-raising efforts had received a lot of support. An order for 250 games was made, and 100 have already been sold.

"If we all work together we can win this war, but it takes all of the small things that each of us do to make a small difference," he said.