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Top honour for 7-year-old S African Indian rhino campaigner

Press Trust of India  |  Johannesburg 

Afeefah Patel, who has just finished Grade One, became the youngest winner ever of SANParks's Corporate Contribution to Conservation Award: Individual category at the 8th annual Kudu Awards.

In her letter in the The Times new paper addressed to Zuma, Afeefah wrote about the problems faced by conservationist in protecting the endangered species.

Her letter sparked interest from the presidency and she subsequently received a letter from President Zuma which said: "I want you to know that our government has just been as highly concerned at the staggering numbers of rhinos that have been killed just this year alone.

"Please continue playing a part in promoting the safety of our endangered species.

You are a very good South African."

Afeefah said she was thrilled to receive a reply from President Zuma, but was even more excited about the prize -- a trophy and 20 000 rands in cash.

She has decided with her family to donate some of this to the Unite Against Poaching Fund and use the rest to buy books on wildlife to further her interest in conservation.

First Published: Wed, December 19 2012. 15:45 IST