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Nicholas Hoult takes on epic rickshaw challenge to raise funds for WWF to help expand diminishing rhino populations in Asia

WWF and actor Nicholas Hoult, along with his two childhood friends, Carlos Adams and Nick Atkins, will team up for a rigorous rickshaw run adventure to raise funds for rhino conservation. Asian rhinos are threatened by habitat loss, poaching for their horns and human-wildlife conflict. The money raised will help fund an ongoing translocation program that aims to create a second viable rhino population in Nepal.

Nicholas, Carlos and Nick are embarking on this journey for both WWF and the Teenage Cancer Trust. The Rickshaw Run is a 3,000km Indian adventure where there is no set route and no backup support. The group will set-off from Cochin on 2 January 2017 and aim to arrive in Jaisalmer via Goa on 15 January. The Rickshaw Run is organised by the Adventurists, who also organize the Mongol Rally.

As part of their work with WWF, Nicholas and Carlos will visit Chitwan National Park, which is home to around 605 of the country’s 645 rhinos and 120 of the estimated 198 tigers in Nepal. They will participate in a rhino monitoring activity and will meet park staff to discuss protection efforts within protected areas and buffer zones, as well as the use of new technologies in patrolling.

Nicholas and Carlos will also visit a small village called Baghkhor in Nepal overlooking Chitwan National Park. Here they will meet the individuals protecting forest landscapes from poaching and other illegal wildlife crimes. Rhinos and tigers now walk freely in this safe refuge and the village opened its doors to tourism through a growing homestay program established in 2013.

The rhino translocation in Nepal, that the Rickshaw Run efforts will help support, provides a new home for about eight of Chitwan’s rhinos in Bardia National Park and Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve. It is led by Nepal’s Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation with the support of WWF, National Trust for Nature Conservation, the Nepal Army and local communities.

This second phase follows a successful expedition in 2016 when five rhinos were moved from Chitwan National Park to Bardia National Park. All five translocated rhinos are adapting well to their new home, which once lost its entire rhino population to poaching.

“We’re really excited to go to India and start the challenge to help raise awareness and funds for these two great causes. I’ve been involved with Teenage Cancer Trust for over 5 years now, and Carlos and I recently saw for ourselves how they continue to positively impact young cancer patients and their families’ lives when we visited their unit at UCLH,” said Nicholas Hoult. “Going to Nepal with WWF to see rhinos in the wild is going to be an incredible experience that I know I will never forget. I hope to learn more about the conservation efforts to protect these remarkable animals, their habitats, the local communities who live alongside them and all the important work WWF helps with.”

Join Nicholas and his friends by sponsoring their amazing efforts here