Human tow truck plans to get heavy
5:30am Thursday 24th July 2014 in By Mike Benke, @Michael_Benke
SOUTH African born business owner Don Bryden will be looking to perform a feat of super human strength next month to raise money for charity.
Don, 44, who owns Aligra Personnel, is aiming to pull an 8.5 tonne truck next month in a bid to raise money to help protect rhinos in Africa from being poached for their horns.
Now living in Stratton, he is looking to help battle the growing problem.
He said: “My family in South Africa do a lot of work with rhinos. There is a private game reserve called Kwandwe which has so far not been touched by poachers.
“It is protected by ex-special service but they do so on a voluntary basis so I thought why not do something to help over here.
“I wanted to do something crazy and because we work in logistics I one day decided to pull a truck.
“My wife says I am going through a mid-life crisis but instead of buying a sports car I’m doing this.”
He has enlisted the help of former England’s Strongest Man winner Laurence Shahlaei and has been training hard ahead of the big day on August 23 at the Groundwell Industrial Estate.
As well as pulling the truck there will be a host of other activities for the family, including music.
Don said: “While it is for a good cause I want everyone to have fun. I am aiming to pull the truck about 20 metres but if I feel I can go further then I will.
“I started training back in November and have been building up. I am feeling confident and looking forward to it.
“Laurence has been training, as well as Manjit Singh from Absolutely Fit, and it’s been going really well. They say my biggest weakness is that I’m too keen and training too often.”
As well as raising money, Don wants to raise awareness of rhino poaching.
Along with his wife and daughter he has set up a charitable trust called Bryden Endangered Species Trust to collect funds.
“There is currently a problem on a massive scale,” said Don.
“Last year more than 1,000 rhinos were killed for their horn and this year is on target to be even higher than that. The horn has absolutely no medicinal qualities but in Vietnam and Asia there are lots of myths so demand is high.
“One horn can fetch up to US$360,000 so you can see why people do it.
“Some of the methods though are terrible. In some cases they cripple the animal, cut the horn off and then leave the animal to die slowly.
“I have seen quite a few things but this always gets to me. I know we can’t change the world here but hopefully we can make a difference.”
A Just Giving page is being set up but in the meantime contact Don.Bryden@aligra.co.uk or 07816 238194 for details on how to donate.