Weston Popichak has worked with exotic animals for over 10 years; throughout that time he has cared for African elephants, has hand raised many species including giraffe, lions, cheetahs, and Greater one-horned rhino, and now trains Southern white rhinos for an ambitious conservation effort to increase population numbers.
Working his way up from high school cross country and later half to full marathons, he has since competed in trail ultra marathons ranging from 50 kilometers to 100 miles, and has claimed a 3rd, 2nd, and 1st place finish in that time. A fitness & nutrition, calisthenics, and endurance enthusiast; Weston is looking to spread awareness about the current and ongoing poaching crisis of many species around the world, highlighting elephant and rhino species, through participation in popular triathlon events.
Through working with Global Conservation Force, he hopes to bring awareness of the needless poaching of rhinos for their horns and elephants for their tusks to the endurance athletics community. Rhinos are currently being poached at a rate higher than is sustainable for the species to survive. Elephant ivory has long been used for carving material and traditional art and at current rates, an elephant is lost to poaching every 15 minutes. He hopes to further educate people on the poaching crisis in a far spreading community of far traveling, strong-willed athletes. With GCF and poaching crisis labelled gear, Weston plans on participating in every triathlon distance, from sprint to full ironman, and hopes to have more opportunities to spread information to other athletes at those events.
We would like to send a rhino sized ‘Thank You’ to Fuji Bikes for donating the triathlon bike & Performance Bicycles in Oceanside, Ca for donating $450 in store credit and for helping to set up Weston with his bike & gear.