Ricochet News

Actress Shannon Elizabeth teams up with Mantis Collection in support of rhino conservation

By Jesica Slabbert - Dec 18, 2018
Actress Shannon Elizabeth teams up with Mantis Collection in support of rhino conservation

Though she might be more well-known for her roles in American Pie, Scary Movie and 13 Ghosts, actress Shannon Elizabeth has a long history of involvement with animal shelters and wildlife conservation projects.

It was her concern for rhinos and the abhorrent poaching of rhinos that prompted her to team up with the Mantis Collection in South Africa and help promote rhino conservation.

Mantis Collection and Shannon Elizabeth lend a voice to the voiceless

The Mantis Collection, owned by Adrian Gardiner, has a long and proud history of wildlife conservation since its creation. The Mantis brand has been a pioneer in wildlife conservation and education, winning various awards and acclaim from various wildlife foundations across the globe.

Paul Gardiner, Adrian’s son and owner of the No.5 By Mantis Hotel in Summerstrand Port Elizabeth, was informed of Shannon’s interest in conservation and immediately reached out to her for the prospect of working together for the sake of conservation.

Shannon calls Cape Town her home, and has been living there for a few years.

Shannon Elizabeth has a long history of helping animals

“When I was first in a position to start to give, I started researching all the animal rescues around Los Angeles. I have always had a strong bond and love for animals, and doing this research I decided to start my own rescue so that I would know that any money raised would go directly toward the animals and not wasted,” said Shannon.

With this in mind Shannon created her own animal rescue organization; Animal Avengers in 2001.

Once Animal Avengers kicked off, Shannon realised that she wanted to do more and contribute more for animals, but was unsure of what to do.

It was after viewing a video on social media about the poaching crisis taking place in Africa, she realised that she wanted to do something to help before these animals become extinct.

“I figured that there may be something I could help with or I could add. I started travelling to Africa and meeting as many people as I could in conservation so I could try to understand the issues and figure out what I could do to help,” said Shannon.

She started coming down to Zimbabwe and South Africa over a few months in 2015 and even paid a visit to the Ivory Burn in Kenya in 2016. It was after her numerous visits that she decided to move to South Africa permanently, while flying back to America for work and films.

“I feel that acting is my job, but making a difference in this world and for the animals is my mission in life, so I am going to spend the majority of my time on my mission,” explained Shannon.

In order to take the first step on her mission, Shannon created the Shannon Elizabeth Foundation, for her Animal Avengers and Wildlife Review Initiative which embraces conservation and supports other conservation organizations such as the Rhino Pride Foundation and Flying for Freedom SA

“There is no silver bullet when it comes to this. We all have to work together to make a difference and an impact. Being able to learn from the past and what the Gardiner’s have done with Shamwari and Founders, there are no better people for me to learn from,” said Shannon.

The start of a great collaboration and friendship

While they are still working on how they will go about their mission to help with rhino conservation, both Shannon and Paul stated that there are many ways they can make an impact.

“If we are going to save the rhinos and every other animal that’s out there we have to work together, and I think we are exploring very specific ways in which we can do that,” said Shannon.

“I think we are going to go on an interesting journey together and figure out what we can do to make a difference,” said Paul.

Simon Borchert, Operations Director of the Shannon Elizabeth Foundation, stated that there are four primary factors they would like to focus on with the foundation.

The education of the youth and teaching them the importance of conservation, the protection of the land and the habitats of the animals, protecting our natural heritage and create moments of education that can better inform public opinions of the state of conservation in the country.

“We believe that everybody is a conservationist. Nobody wants the world to be worse, no matter where you live you are still in an environment and everybody want their world to be as good as it is now. We are united in this aspiration to have a better world,” said Simon.

To find out more about the Shannon Elizabeth Foundation and see what you can do to help in their mission for conservation, visit their website here.