San Diego

Riding for Rhinos: Cyclist Pulls Giant Replica Rhino 2,000 Miles

The rhino is named Lunar and weighs about 350 pounds.

A bike ride that began April 17 in Blaine, Washington, ends this weekend in San Diego. 

Sunday, Matt Meyer will reach his goal--the Mexican border--but that’s only his geographical goal.

His real goal is saving rhinos.

Meyer is cycling from the Canadian border to the Mexican border--the journey is expected to take 60 days and cover 2,000-miles. 

While the trip itself is physically demanding and daunting, what makes it truly unique is that Meyer is pulling a rhino behind him. Not just any rhino, but a giant, life-sized replica rhino that weighs about 350 pounds.   

The rhino is named Lunar and seeing Meyer pulling her down the road, well--she’s obviously an attention getter.

“So when you actually get the visual representation of the species we’re trying to save, it’s 'There it is!' It eliminates uncomfortable conversions with strangers. This is what we’re doing; we’re not doing anything else. We’re trying to save rhinos,” said Meyer.

The aim of the Long Ride to Free Them, or Rhino Ride 2017, is to raise funds and create global awareness for the current poaching crisis on rhinoceros in southern Africa. In doing so, to shed light on this urgent dilemma that involves rhinoceros and other keystone species worldwide.

For more information on how you can donate or help in the fight to save rhinos, click here.

Rhino Ride 2017 is sponsored by Piper and Health Travel, owned by San Diego-based African travel specialist, Chris Liebenberg and Wilderness Safaris/The Wilderness Wildlife Trust.

When Meyer finishes his ride, he’ll head back to South Africa where he works as a safari guide.

But don’t be surprised if you see Meyer and Lunar riding through San Diego in the future.

“The joy that these animals have given me in the wild, I mean I have to give something back and I couldn’t hand over the world to the next generation without rhinos. So if it means me doing it every year, yep I’ll do it," Meyer told NBC 7.

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