Time goes by so quickly and it is hard to believe that the little 3-month-old little rhino that arrived at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre last June is now growing taller and wider by the day.
We are thrilled with Thaba’s progress and how he has adapted to life at the Centre. He is surrounded by the love and care of his curators, as well as surrogate big sister Esmé and companion sheep Mielie and Vlooi. These four leave their boma first thing in the morning and enjoy their time out in the bush until dusk, when they return to retire for the evening.
While there’s no mistaking Thaba’s love for his big sister, his friends and the curators, the big love of his life is milk. Every feed is taken with enthusiasm and if he could have his way, he would sit by a stream of never-ending milk and drink away at it all day! Of course, this is not possible, and our curators must keep adjusting his feeds to his growing body, as well as to ensure that overfeeding doesn’t occur, which could bring with it other issues such as an upset stomach.
Because Thaba is difficult to keep still if there isn’t a milk feed nearby, our curators decided that the perfect time to measure him would be during one of his feeds, which worked out well.
Here are the results:
We will bring you more news on Thaba as he continues to grow. In the meantime, keep following us on our social media platforms where we will post more photos and videos.
Once again, a big thank you to all our supporters who continue to donate towards his care. You are helping to raise this little guy and we look forward to the day he is released into the wild.
Orphaned baby rhino little Thaba is now around 7 months old, and he has adapted well to his life at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. He has also put on weight nicely, thanks to the many milk feeds and hours of care he receives. When Thaba first arrived, he weighed 124,2 kgs (around 274 pounds). He now tips the scales at 298,6 kgs (around 660 pounds)!
Thaba’s milk feeds will continue to increase as his weight increases. This is to ensure that he grows into a healthy adult rhino bull. Recently, his milk feeds were supplemented with a cereal called ProNutro, which is mixed into his milk. ProNutro has long been used by many animal carers as an aid to digestion, and to bulk up milk feeds for hungry, growing bodies.
While Thaba still has his lamb companion Vlooi by his side, he has also been introduced to female rhino Esmé, who herself arrived at the Centre as a malnourished little one in 2017. The introduction took place slowly, with the two rhinos first meeting each other through the fence of their adjacent bomas. They were eventually given a little more time each day to spend together and are now together permanently - the gate between their bomas left open for each one to come and go as they please. Esmé also still has her sheep companion Mielie by her side and between Thaba, Vlooi, Esmé and Mielie, they make a fabulous foursome. Esmé has taken on the role of surrogate mom/big sister and while she is very patient with Thaba, she lets him know when he oversteps his mark. Thaba of course tries his luck and wants her to play with him constantly.
Please keep checking our social media pages for more updates and videos. We will also provide more updates here as he progresses.
Once again, a big thank you to everyone who has donated towards Thaba’s feeds, security and veterinary needs. It is thanks to you that the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre can continue to provide him with the best possible care.
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