At last, we have been blessed with some good rain and a much greener landscape. Our animals are thriving and there have also been a few new babies seen around the Centre.
Lula and Khulula
Our two rhino ladies spend their days in the bush and love to hide amongst the fresh shrubs. They are still fed one bale of lucerne and one bale of teff. This is because the new shoots of green grass contain mainly water and as such do not yet provide enough nutrition. Until the naturally growing grass can provide more nutrition, we will continue to feed them this combination. The teff bale is given to them to fatten them up, while the lucerne provides their nutrients. In typical female style, they are not too crazy about the teff and prefer the lucerne because it is sweeter. We ladies love our sugar, don’t we?
Even though zebras Zita and Loverboy are kept in an adjacent area separated by a cattle grid, Lula and Khulula’s flat rhino feet allow them to step over the grid and meander to the zebras from time to time for a visit.
Esmé has been a busy big sister. Not only is she keeping Thaba company, but she has been slowly introduced to one of our new arrivals – baby rhino Bula. Bula is currently being kept in an adjacent boma but cannot wait to leave in the morning and spend time with the others, moaning to be let out when he hears their noises.
Baby rhino Peter, being a few months younger, is still in a separate area and the plan is for him too to be introduced.
Winter has most certainly been dry and dusty at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, and now that Spring has officially started, we eagerly await the first rains. The landscape is currently a dull brown, with nothing substantial for the rhinos to eat. Thankfully, your kind donations have ensured that we were able to keep purchasing lucerne bales (alfalfa) for them to feed on daily. This will continue to be the case until the landscape changes from a dull brown to a lush green.
While Lula and Khulula will eventually feed off the greenery in their surroundings and then no longer be dependent on our lucerne feeds, Esmé will still be fed lucerne all year round because she, along with her “little brother” Thaba, need to spend their evenings in a boma, and therefore do not have the same access to food as Lula and Khulula do.
Due to the ever-present threat of rhino poaching, we make use of an anti-poaching unit to protect all our rhinos. For their own safety, we have not included their photos here.
In addition to the anti-poaching unit, we also need to keep our fences maintained and upgraded where needed to ensure that we provide our precious animals with the best protection possible.
We will be inspecting our fences for any holes, fixing them, and making upgrades and changes where needed. This is where your donations will be making a big difference.
We would like to thank you once again for your continued support, which is so needed and so appreciated.
We are happy to report that all the rhinos are still doing well. Esmé spends her days with baby rhino Thaba, being the best big sister to him. Lula and Khulula are living out their days peacefully, munching on what’s left of the summer greenery, rolling around in the mud puddles, and sleeping under the trees.
With winter now upon us in South Africa, all the rhinos are being fed lucerne to supplement what they are not finding out in the bush. They wait eagerly for the truck to arrive with their snacks and feed off the lucerne enthusiastically. Your donations are helping to ensure that they get a steady supply, and we are immensely grateful for your support.
Esmé, Thaba, Lula and Khulula are all white rhinos. The difference between them and their black rhino counterparts is that black rhinos have hooked lips, which allow them to pluck leaves off the tree branches. White rhinos have wide lips, allowing them to pull at the grasses and other low-lying greenery.
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