A rhino conservation charity is offering fans of Alexander McCall Smith the chance to name a rhino after Precious Ramotswe, the heroine of the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.
Rhino Conservation Botswana, which is supported by Prince Harry, has opened the poll in honour of the 20th anniversary of the Botswana-set series. It is also raising money for safeguarding a wild ‘ark’ population of endangered black and white rhinos in Botswana.
RCB spokesperson Sophie Stafford said: “The idea behind the vote is to celebrate the anniversary of Mma Precious Ramotswe’s fictional debut while also raising awareness of the invaluable work happening in her homeland to protect wild rhinos. These ancient and precious animals are being poached to extinction in many parts of Africa, but are thriving in Botswana’s Okavango Delta thanks to robust wildlife protection laws and RCB’s work to keep them safe and healthy.”
To help voters make a decision, the charity has selected three female rhinos who match McCall Smith’s description of Mma Ramotswe as "traditionally built and beautiful". Photographs of each rhino and links to voting buttons are being shared using the charity’s social networking channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and through its website.
A spokesperson for Alexander McCall Smith said: “We are all thrilled that Precious Ramotswe might be able to help the Rhino Conservation Botswana charity in some small way. She would be delighted. The work undertaken by such charities is vital to the future health of the remaining rhino stock in Africa. What a wonderful tribute to Precious and to Alexander McCall Smith, creator of The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.”
Voters are also being invited to contribute to a special fund to cover the costs of protecting Precious Ramotswe rhino and her family including through the provision of modern tracking devices and extra monitoring.
Voting is open until 30th June.