Rhino ranger (82) takes big step to recovery with new hip

2012-02-27 00:00

AFTER undergoing a hip replacement, octogenarian game ranger Philemon Ndlovu has taken his first steps to becoming active again in the campaign to conserve rhino.

Medi-Clinic Hospital spokesperson Reshnee Beekrum said it was “remarkable” that Ndlovu (82) was walking so soon after the operation.

The hospital agreed to help with the costs of the surgery, performed by a leading Pietermaritzburg orthopaedic surgeon, as part of its corporate social investment and responsibility programme.

Ndlovu has always had a close connection with the highly threatened rhino.

He became involved in conservation when he was in his 20s, when he helped build a perimeter fence around Swaziland’s Mkhaya Game Reserve, where he is still employed.

Over the years he has developed a loving connection with 15 of the rhino and is able to distinguish between black and white rhino just by looking at their footprints. He has named a number of the ­rhino that he tends.

“They are very close to me. I love them,” he said, adding that the recent poaching of rhino across southern Africa made him sad.

After many years’ service with Swaziland’s Big Game Parks group, Ndlovu developed a serious hip problem, which resulted in a dislocation.

He does not qualify for medical assistance in South Africa because he is a citizen of Swaziland.

Swaziland’s record at rhino security has been unmatched in Africa. Until June last year the kingdom had not lost a single rhino to poaching in 20 years.

“I would like to thank all who came to my assistance and I am eager to continue with my work and sharing my knowledge and skills with my trainees,” Ndlovu said from his hospital bed.

• jonathan.faurie@witness.co.za

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.