Last year Lindt donated R250 000 from Easter sales of the Lindt Gold Bunny to the EWT Programme as well as adopting a rabbit – affectionately called Lindor-Balls – in an on-going EWT research project to establish the rabbit’s survival on restored riverine veld near Loxton in the Karoo.

Endemic to the Karoo and one of the world's rarest mammals, research has determined that the only way to secure the Riverine Rabbit’s long term survival is through protection of natural habitat.

“Last year, along with proceeds being directed to the EWT programme, significant awareness generated by the Lindt campaign also resulted in more contributions by the public. Awareness-raising, fund-raising, improved knowledge and habitat have all resulted in bettering Riverine Rabbit conservation,” says the EWT’s manager of the Riverine Rabbit Programme Christy Bragg

The Riverine Rabbit is also seen as a flagship species to target funding for the sustainable management of Karoo ecosystems in order to build resilience to climate change. Greater ecosystem resilience means that the people of the Karoo are also protected from the hard-hitting impacts of climate change in our already-dry country.

“This year we’re hoping to raise more than R250 000 for the fund through our Easter initiative,” says Lindt brand manager Marjolaine de Claviere. “In turn, consumers stand a chance to win a two night getaway to Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, one of South Africa’s most absorbing wildlife experiences and a core study site for research about how to improve the rabbit’s survival.”

Situated only three hours away from Cape Town on route 62 and spread over 54 000 hectares, Sanbona Wildlife Reserve represent the Western Capes only free roaming big 5 reserve and functions not only as a refuge for the Riverine Rabbit but provides ongoing research to ensure the rabbit’s continued existence. Sound conservation principles manage the environment within Sanbona to create a sustainable natural ecosystem while also developing a number of small, luxury lodges.

The Lindt Easter Chocolate Bunny, meanwhile, has been in production since 1952 and - with its two long ears, golden coat and a shiny golden bell on a red ribbon - remains an enduring icon of Easter festivities. And in South Africa 2012, the Lindt Easter Chocolate Bunny will again have a mission: to further help save the endangered Riverine Rabbit.

Creating fine chocolate is an art that requires great skill, dedication and passion, and the Master Chocolatiers of Lindt are experts of this craft. For over 160 years, they have developed and refined their unique secret recipes with absolute devotion, resulting in the legendary Lindt chocolate culture.