Known to be aggressively territorial, the ground-hornbill will fight the "enemy" upon seeing his reflection in a window or mirror. This has resulted in countless broken windows in the area as the birds peck at their reflection with their giant bills. Land-owners bearing the brunt of the cost and inconvenience of this behaviour began shooting the birds and this has become one of the greatest threats to the viability of the species in the area, particularly in the rural and commercial farming communities.
One rural school in the province ended up with 110 broken windows as a result of the hornbills with no means of fixing the windows themselves. Upon hearing about the problem, Graffiti brought some its tools of the trade to the rescue. PG Glass Polokwane kindly sponsored the glass and Graffiti donated rolls of opaque contravision which was applied to the windows in an attempt to cut out the external reflection of the glass. As a result, the hornbills are unable to see themselves in the windows and with have no "enemy" to peck, the windows have remained intact.
Commenting on the project, Graffiti Director Gavin Schlaphoff says, "As a branding company we work with contravision and other vinyls every day so the ground-hornbill project was something we could easily assist with in that we have the tools at our immediate disposal. Application is quick and easy and can be done on any window surface, so we can quite simply eliminate the threat to the ground-hornbills from angry property owners if they all protect their windows by similar means."
The Mabula Ground Hornbill Project has lauded Graffiti's actions in that they have not only created a positive intervention in protecting the species and of course assisting a school, but they have also generated a great deal of awareness around the plight of the ground-hornbill.
Ends Schlaphoff, "This is the kind of project with which Graffiti is happy to assist and are proud to be associated. We are thrilled that our small role can have such a positive impact on saving an important part of our South African animal heritage."
To obtain further information or donate towards the ground-hornbill project visit www.groundhornbillproject.givengain.org