| Feb 9, 2024
Milestones and Moves
Four rhinos grazing peacefully
Our three calves have all been growing steadily and are reaching their individual milestones as time goes on.
Thaba is almost 22 months old, and even though he was weaned last September, he is far from reaching maturity. In the wild, Rhino bulls only reach maturity at 10 years of age, approximately 3 years after their female counterparts. Typically, a rhino calf leaves its mother between 2 – 5 years old. This is because it is more than likely chased from the mother by an adult male, who has deemed her a mating partner.
At HESC however, Thaba and big-sister-cum-surrogate-mother Esmé are still together and getting along well. They were recently joined by a temporary resident named Mango; a female rhino calf who is 3 months younger than Thaba. Thaba has adapted well to Mango’s arrival and is learning how to become part of a crash.
Bula too is growing nicely. He now drinks 22,5 litres of milk per day and reached a new milestone when, after slowly being introduced to the others, he was placed into the boma with Esmé, Thaba and Mango.
Peter is currently receiving 15,75 litres of milk per day and now weighs 222 kgs. He was recently given the all-clear by wildlife vet Dr Rogers to start venturing out of his quarantine boma for short periods of time during the day. It is standard practice for injured or orphaned calves brought to rehabilitation centres to be kept in quarantine, which can be anywhere from 30 to 90 days. During this time, their health is scrutinised, and regular faecal and blood samples are taken and screened for bacteria. Vaccinations are administered, as well as TB tests taken. All to ensure that the calf has the best chance at healthy development.
Peter’s new routine involves being taken out of his boma a few times a day to graze and to explore the outside area, along with his best friend – Pedi sheep Liquorice. A curator is still close at hand to keep an eye on these two.
The eventual plan is for Peter to join the others, but nature is in no hurry, and progress will happen in its own time.
For now, we are just thrilled to know that they are healthy, growing, and peaceful.
One of Bula's many milk feeds
Peter enjoying his grazing time outside his boma
Peter and Liquorice taking a snooze break