Big Rhinos Need Big Hearts Too

by Wildlife Conservation Trust
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Big Rhinos Need Big Hearts Too
Big Rhinos Need Big Hearts Too
Big Rhinos Need Big Hearts Too
Big Rhinos Need Big Hearts Too
Big Rhinos Need Big Hearts Too
Big Rhinos Need Big Hearts Too
Big Rhinos Need Big Hearts Too
Big Rhinos Need Big Hearts Too
Big Rhinos Need Big Hearts Too
Big Rhinos Need Big Hearts Too
Big Rhinos Need Big Hearts Too
Big Rhinos Need Big Hearts Too
Big Rhinos Need Big Hearts Too

Project Report | Feb 17, 2021
February 2021 - Update

By Estelle Walmsley | Project Leader

A recent photograph of Stompie and Balu: Oct 2020
A recent photograph of Stompie and Balu: Oct 2020

The rehabilitation of rhinos injured and orphaned in poaching incidents remains a priority at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre and is a task of love that is performed despite the hardships of the current worldwide Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant disastrous effect on tourism due to travel restrictions. The generous support received via GlobalGiving and individual supporters from around the globe has enabled HESC to continue with this work.

The ethos behind all our conservation programmes is to release rehabilitated animals back into the wild to sustain the species and in the past two years alone, since December 2018, we have released ten white rhinos. While details and current locations are not divulged, we regularly receive feedback on the rhinos and can confirm that all have adjusted well and are happy and content in their new homes in the wild.

A recent photograph of Stompie and Balu, released in October 2020, show the two are still very close and clearly happy in their new environment. Nhlanhla released in December 2020 has had the good fortune of teaming up with a young cow and the two seem inseparable. Although Nhlanhla and his new friend are free in the wild, for the sake of safety they sleep in a Boma.

Three rhinos remain in our care as they are not yet old enough to be released.

Much loved Esmé is still the favourite (although Lula and Khulula are equally loved) and is mostly in the company of her best friend Anatolian shepherd David and Mielie the Thaba Manzi Pedi sheep. The close friendship of the three different species never ceases to amaze and delights all who see them. Esmé who came to us in 2017 when she was just one month old when her mother couldn’t provide sufficient milk to sustain her, is now strong and beautiful and a fine example of one of the icons of our South African wildlife heritage.

Lula and Khulula came to us as they were orphaned when their mothers were butchered in poaching incidents. Lula was barely four months old and Khulula around five months; both were terrified and traumatised but today the two are content, happy and still with us.

We are hugely grateful for the financial support that has enabled us to rehabilitate and care for each and every rhino that has crossed our path. Funding received covers, besides maintaining the enclosures of the rhinos, also veterinary care, security, staff salaries and animal food. For a period of three months, 300 bales of lucerne costs close on R100 000. As our dogs are an important aspect of our security system, their food, training and veterinary costs are also covered by GlobalGiving funding.

While the rehabilitation of rhinos is our passion, we could never do it without the support of benevolent sponsors. We aim to continue with this task to contribute to the conservation of a species that can never be allowed to disappear off the face of our planet.

Nhlanhla: released in December 2020
Nhlanhla: released in December 2020
Esme and Mielie
Esme and Mielie
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Oct 20, 2020
Stompie and Balu are released back into the wild!

By Estelle Welmsley | Project Leader

Jun 23, 2020
The Big Rhino's Half Year Update

By Lerissa van Biljon | Project Leader

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Organization Information

Wildlife Conservation Trust

Location: Pretoria - South Africa
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Trust_Wildlife
Project Leader:
Lente Roode
Pretoria , South Africa
$149,372 raised of $250,000 goal
3,828 donations
$100,628 to go
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