Photo by photographer and Kariega ranger Jacques Matthysen
Pack for a Purpose is thrilled to learn about Kariega Game Reserve’s newest arrival, a baby rhino born on the reserve. Kariega Game Reserve has been partnered with Pack for a Purpose for more than two years now. When travelers visit Kariega Game Reserve in South Africa, they can choose to volunteer for research projects that support wildlife conservation efforts. In 2014, more than 1,100 rhinos were killed by poachers in South Africa. As part of Kariega’s efforts to preserve rhinos for future generations, they support an anti-poaching project. Thandi, the rhino they saved from poachers, is the mother of their newest calf. Dr. William Fowlds, the vet instrumental in saving and treating Thandi, narrates her story of survival in this video produced by wildlife filmmaker Adrian Steirn. Below is Thandi’s story as told by Kariega Game Reserve:
“Kariega Game Reserve is delighted to announce that poaching survivor, Thandi the rhino has given birth to a calf this morning [Jan. 13]. Wildlife veterinarian Dr. William Fowlds observed the mother and her calf from a distance. He confirmed that both are doing well.
Dr. Fowlds of Investec Rhino Lifeline comments: ‘I am sure that the whole rhino caring community will share in the joy of this amazing birth. Thandi’s story has always been an incredible testimony of the will to survive against all odds. She represents so much of what her species faces under the current poaching crisis. Her survival has already given us inspiration but the birth of her calf brings a new dimension of hope to the crisis, showing us that a future generation of life is possible if we put our minds and hearts to it.’
South Africa has the largest population of rhinos in the world. However, figures compiled by the South African Department of Environmental Affairs show a dramatic escalation in the number of rhinos being poached. During 2014 a staggering 1,116 rhinos were killed. Over the past five years 3,569 rhinos have died at the hands of poachers.
Alan Weyer, General Manager at the Eastern Cape reserve comments: ‘It is incredible that the rhino we found so close to death nearly three years ago is now the mother of a beautiful calf. Thandi has shown huge resilience in her fight to survive. We are absolutely thrilled.’
For the safety of Thandi and her calf, the area is off-limits to all visitors. It is of most utmost importance that both rhino are left undisturbed to ensure that the calf has the best chance of survival.
Kariega Foundation patron and Kariega Game Reserve co-owner Graeme Rushmere comments: ‘Thandi’s calf is a real reward for her courage and everyone’s unbelievable efforts in saving and caring for her. We are so grateful for the incredible support that we have received from individuals and organisations across the globe. Thandi has become an amazing ambassador for rhino and for the many dedicated people fighting the war to end rhino poaching. We are simply delighted.’
Our thanks again from everyone at the Kariega Foundation Save the Rhino fund and on the reserve for you wonderful support of Thandi, the reserve and our rhino.”