Esme, the Rescued Rhino at HESC

by Wildlife Conservation Trust T/A Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre Vetted since 2017 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit
Dear Friends and Supporters of Esme, 

We are delighted to update you that Esme, the youngest rhino in our care at HESC, that you have been kind enough to contribute towards, is healthy and well, and growing up very fast.

Looking back at how skinny she was when she arrived at our centre at the end of last year, it is hard to believe she is the same rhino. She will be fully weaned within seven months from now, which means no more milk feedings, which many of our curators will surely miss. Your contributions have helped greatly towards the heavy costs of her milk, and getting her to where is today,  thank you from the bottom of our hearts! 

Esme is spending most of her day now, out in nature, going for long walks, and loving mud baths, especially as we are now having much hotter days as we approach our hot South African summer. 

We introduced an additional friend to Esme, a little hand-raised Pedi-Sheep, called Millie, who never leaves her side now. Pedi-sheep's have a beautiful nature, as they are so accepting to most breeds of animals. She was introduced to Esme with the aim of having a more nurturing type of friend, almost like a surrogate mother.  It took quite a slow and gradual process to get them acquainted, and comfortable with one another, but our patience has paid off.  We have attached a photo of their introduction, as well as them now, a few months into their friendship. 

David, the Anatolian Shepherd, is still on the scene, though we had to separate them for a while, as David was way too rough for Millie, as she was still very young. 

Another big update from our centre, is the introduction of two more dedicated HESC Anti-poaching unit members, two members of the Black Mambas Anti Poaching unit in South Africa, an all female unit. We are increasing our security to ensure Esme and the other rhino's in our care have as much security as possible. This is by far our greatest cost for the centre at the moment, but it is absolutely essential.  We would be grateful for your ongoing support for Esme's daily costs, as every penny, no matter how small, counts, and keeps our centre in operation.

Lookout for World Rhino Day coming up, 22 September 2018. 

Thank you again from all of us, 

Yours in Conservation, 
The HESC Team

Esme outgrows the grass
Esme outgrows the grass

Three months has passed by so quickly, and we are proud to say that Esme has grown just as fast too, and is doing very well, thank you to everyone’s kind donations and support. 

In our last report, in March, Esme weighed 167KG (368 Pounds), and she is now officially too big to weigh, with our weighing machine only able to support a maximum of 300Kg’s. We estimate she now weighs approximately 500KG (1000 Pounds). 

We have ongoing assessments of her health, carried out by wildlife vet, Dr. Peter Rogers, who is happy with her progress and development. She is a healthy young rhino. 

Esme is now drinking 22Litres of milk formula daily, over a span of 4 feedings. The curators have worked out a weaning schedule for her, and she will be officially weaned by the 01 April 2019. 

Her typical day at HESC entails, feeding times at 06h00; 09h00; 15h00 and 18h00. Each morning at 8am, she is taken out for a walk around the grounds of HESC with one of her carers, and she normally stops at a certain spot that she loves for grazing and a mid-morning nap (often on the lap of the carers!).  When she is ready, we bring her back to her Boma, where she enjoys a mud bath and a midday nap. A bit later in the day she is taken out for grazing in a natural environment again. 

She has the most loving personality, extremely relaxed and not aggressive at all.  She can be a little clumsy as she finds her feet as she grows. 

David, the Anatolian Shepherd, who is her best friend, experienced her weight gain first hand, as she stood on his paw, and he had to have some time out to recover. But they are back together again, as they cannot keep apart. 

We rely on ongoing donations to continue our care of Esme especially as she grows and her consumption increases dramatically too. 

The monies received also goes a long way with ensuring the security of Esme and the other rhino’s in our care, as this is our first and foremost priority. 

Thank you to everyone that has supported Esme and HESC, no matter how small the donation, it all counts to serve in our ongoing commitment to her wellbeing. 

Yours in Conservation, 

The HESC Team.  

Esme and David on a walk
Esme and David on a walk


Esme the Rhino
Esme the Rhino

The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) would like to update you on the wonderful support we have received over the last few months:

HESC is extremely happy to report that Esme, the baby rhino, has picked up 110kg (243 pounds) due to the donations that they have received through Global Giving. Arriving at the centre at 57kg (125 pounds), Esme now weighs an astonishing 167kg (368 pounds). The donations also ensured that Esme could get veterinary care and treatment from Dr Rogers, this included a very important blood transfusion from one of our other rhino, Philippe.  This procedure was performed to help boost her anti-bodies and improve her immune system which at one point was a little weak.  This is likely due to her not receiving the important colostrum from her mother.

The weight gain and constant care indicates that little Esme is heading in the right direction to being fully rehabilitated. She now goes on daily walks around the centre with David under the watchful eye of a dedicated team member.  She enjoys exploring her surroundings and loves the mud baths that tend to happen every few meters after some rain. To watch Esme rolling around in the mud brings a sense of innocence, all this while David plays in the mud as well.

Global Giving donations have also helped ensure around the clock protection, not only from the Anti Poaching Unit (APU), but also from her companion and protector David, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog.  The pairing of Esme and David is also a world first and it was a decision we are glad we took as the breeds are are calm, confident but will investigate and aggressively confront any intruders or threats to their herd, which now includes little Esme.  This has been witnessed by the curators who work closely with the two.  

HESC believes that EVERY SINGLE RHINO counts and even these small babies are a target to poachers.  

Going forward HESC will ensure that Esme receives the best care and continue to work around the clock in aid of all the rhinos and animals at the centre.  
Thank you to every donation and every share. Thank you for helping us spread the word.

Yours in conservation
The HESC team



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Project Leader:
Adine Roode
Hoedspruit, South Africa
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