While in Namibia, the model met with local organizers to promote the conservation of black rhinoceroses

By Tomás Mier
June 10, 2019 03:40 PM
Behati Prinsloo

Dusty wants to save rhinos when she grows up — just like mom!

During a recent trip to Africa, Behati Prinsloo partnered with Save The Rhino Trust Namibia and learned firsthand how trackers and members of the community are working to save the black rhino, which is critically endangered.

The Victoria’s Secret supermodel spoke to PEOPLE exclusively about her daughter Dusty’s love for the rhinoceroses and her own efforts to conserve them in her home country of Namibia.

“[Dusty] has decided that rhinos are her favorite animal and when she grows up, she’s going to help me save them,” she said about her 2-year-old daughter with Adam Levine. (They welcomed another daughter, Gio, last February.)

“Right now, it’s quite dreamlike for my girls, but if we don’t act now to save rhinos, this dream will end with the extinction of the species,” she explained, saying that there are just 10 years to save black rhinos from becoming extinct.

Behati Prinsloo

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“I feel a personal responsibility to bring awareness to this issue,” she said. “Poaching needs to stop. The illegal wildlife trade needs to stop.”

“Namibia is where my heart is,” she added. “These animals are part of Africa’s soul. They are part of my soul.”

During her conservation trip, Prinsloo reminisced about her childhood camping with her parents. This time, she got to explore the land with conservation advocates and “rhino rangers.”

Behati Prinsloo

“Their passion and dedication to keep these animals alive is infectious,” she said. “It gives me so much hope and makes me even more proud to be Namibian.”

While the number of black rhinos has doubled since its historic low of 2,500 in the mid-1990s, the animal species is still considered critically endangered by the WWF.

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“Three rhinos are killed every day for their horns, which are nothing more than keratin, the same substance as our hair and nails,” Prinsloo said. “Their horns don’t possess any magical healing powers and anyone who thinks that owning one somehow bestows status is simply wrong.”

“They are solitary, marching to the beat of their own drum — like the punk rockers of the animal world!” Prinsloo added, describing her daughter’s favorite animal. “They avoid conflict, and for me, this was a lesson in the power and restraint of Mother Nature, a lesson we could all learn from.”