Indian batsman Rohit Sharma is launching the Rohit4Rhinos campaign, in partnership with WWF India and Animal Planet, to help build awareness for the need to conserve the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros or the Indian Rhino.
In a campaign launching on Animal Planet to commemorate World Rhino Day on September 22, Rohit has pledged to do his bit to save the "vulnerable" species from extinction.
"It is our duty as co-inhabitants of this planet to try and protect other species that walk this planet, alongside us. The future is in our hands and we should do whatever we can to ensure that our children are able to enjoy the rich bio-diversity this world has to offer," said Rohit.
"I hope that this campaign will inspire others to come forward and join Animal Planet, WWF India and I in this endeavour to save the greater one-horned Rhinoceros."
Of the estimated 3,500 Indian rhinos left in the world, 82 per cent are found in India. Once found abundantly across the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra river basins, the animal is now found only in select pockets in Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
The state animal of Assam, the Indian rhinoceros faces several threats, including poaching, habitat loss and mass mortality from in-breeding and disease.
The 32-year-old joined WWF India as its brand ambassador for Rhino Conservation in 2018. With Animal Planet now joining the cause, the team has set out to create awareness and sensitise India about the species and the need for its conservation.
"Discovery has long been committed to telling the stories and protecting the creatures that make our planet extraordinary. We remain steadfast to leverage the brand strength of India's leading wildlife channel Animal Planet to galvanize people power for the cause of endangered species," said, Megha Tata, Discovery Managing Director - South Asia.
"We are confident that Rohit's strong support for the cause of Rhino conservation will help more people to join us for the cause of saving these gentle giants."
"WWF India would like to thank Rohit Sharma for being the voice of conservation and for his continuous support in raising awareness about the greater one-horned rhinos. Decades old stories of rhino conservation success in India need to be told and we believe that the campaign #Rohit4Rhinos being implemented in partnership with WWF India and Animal Planet will also be able to bring attention to the challenges that conservationists face in protecting the species," said, Dipankar Ghose, Director, Species and Landscapes, WWF India.