Benjamin Westlake

Blog 029

The Rhino Orphanage
South Africa
2022, March

Well, I am back out in South Africa, at another Rhino Orphanage! The Rhino Orphanage simular to Care for Wild rescues and cares for infant Rhinos after poaching incidents.

The story of The Rhino Orphanage starts with Arrie van Deventer. Early one morning in 2012, Arrie received an urgent phone call from one of his neighbours. Greatly distressed, the neighbour informed Arrie that two female rhinos, as well as a young baby rhino, had been shot only 400 metres from his house.

Both female rhinos that the poachers had killed had calves. The younger of two rhino calves lay next to its mother, both brutally slain. The slightly older rhino calf was running around in terror on the farm. The neighbour asked whether Arrie could organise a helicopter that could assist with locating the orphaned rhino. They eventually managed to corral the baby rhino and kept it safe until something could be done regarding its welfare.

The following morning, Arrie phoned anyone and everyone he knew to find out where he could send the orphaned baby rhino for appropriate shelter and care. He assumed that there were facilities all over South Africa which looked after orphaned rhinos and tried in vain to locate a wildlife authority that might be able to help.

Despite all we see in newspapers and on TV regarding rhino poaching and dwindling rhino populations, Arrie discovered that in 2012 there was little – or nothing – written about the fate of the orphaned rhino calves.

Unfortunatly with these type of projects there is always going to be that moment where another Rhino needs to be rescued, another volunteer documented the process of rescuing these animals.

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