Pen gave a ‘highly entertaining talk’ at Save The Rhino’s annual fund-raising dinner at London Zoo, contributing to the prodigious efforts of this inspiring charity to raise £25,000 successfully on the night.
The event’s theme was ‘heroes’, and Pen focused on the two heroes that had led him to lead his professional life on the Arctic Ocean for the last 25 years – Captain Robert Falcon Scott (the polar explorer, aka Scott of the Antarctic) and his son, Sir Peter Scott (who was a founder of the world’s largest membership organisation dedicated to the environment, WWF).
Pen’s talk embraced the additional, not inconsiderable, challenge of delivering his talk in the PechaKucha style whereby each image in his presentation moved automatically every 20 seconds – a severe test of any speaker’s preparation! Having joshed with Clive Anderson, the compere, on the voltage required in the electric wires surrounding a game reserve to contain the thick-skinned rhinoceros (5,000V, the same as a cow, surprisingly), Pen launched into his talk, finishing on the button as the last slide faded. With the Western Black Rhino declared extinct in 2011 (no rhinos now exist in western or central Africa), the pressure is becoming ever more extreme on the remaining rhino as the Asian markets exhort poachers to secure the rhino’s horn.