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Hollywood Shines a Light on Conservation

Friday the 13th often signifies an ominous day for those of us who are superstitious – we observe the day watching scary movies and thrillers (I can think of one slasher film in particular), and we mark the day as unlucky or dark.

But what happened the evening of Friday, September 13th this year was far from dark. Our leaders from Cisco, our global strategic partner NTT, and a community of conservationists, celebrities, and customers came together in Los Angeles to shine a bright light on rhino conservation.

What brought us all together at Paramount Theaters in Hollywood was the screening of the U.S. national premiere of Save This Rhino, a two-part documentary series following proactive efforts in South Africa to save the critically endangered rhinoceros. Currently, 80 percent of the world’s rhinos live in and around South Africa, and their population is quickly declining at the hands of poachers hunting them for their highly sought-after rhino horns.

The theater was packed with celebrities and social media influencers who showed up to support conservation, including musician Moby and actress Kate Siegel, who was also the moderator of the panel of stars in the documentary after the screening. The panel included Cisco’s Dave Ward, NTT’s Doc Watson, cricket legend Kevin Pietersen, Outback Wrangler Matt Wright, and Care for Wild founder Petronel Nieuwoudt.

Their discussion focused on the plight of the rhino as well as the solutions developed and employed through technology and innovation to combat the problem, featuring Connected Conservation.

Cisco and Dimension Data deployed, innovated and improved the Connected Conservation solution in 2015, which has helped fight this battle and is expanding to protect not only rhinos, but all species in the reserve. It’s a first-of-its-kind solution to proactively protect rhinos while leaving them to roam freely.

To watch the documentary in the U.S., tune into the broadcast on September 19 at 10 p.m. eastern and September 20 at 10 p.m. eastern on Outside TV. Continue the conversation in the comments section below and on social media by using #SavethisRhino and #ConnectedConservation.

Image – LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 13: (L-R) Doc Watson, Cisco Systems CTO of Engineering and Chief Architect Dave Ward, Cisco Managed Services Vice President and General Manager Ruba Borno, Kevin Pietersen, Petronel Nieuwoudt, Matt Wright, Michael Lawrence and Taylor Steele attend the “Save This Rhino” National Premiere at Paramount Pictures on September 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for “Save This Rhino” National Premiere)