Rhinos: new pair let loose at iSimangaliso

2012-10-18 00:00

THE black rhino population in the Eastern Shores section of iSimangaliso Wetland Park has been boosted by the introduction of a young pair, both of which were originally abandoned by their mothers.

The male, who originated from Phinda, and who is now four years old, was kept in a large boma with a goat for company for two years to grow big enough to contest territorial battles.

Fortuitously, a young female at Ithala Game Reserve was also abandoned by her “non maternal” mother. Although less than three years old, she was mature enough to survive independently and was declared an ideal mate for the male.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife chief veterinarian, Dr Dave Cooper, said black rhino are highly intelligent, fiercely territorial and tended “to attack first and ask questions later”.

Both rhinos were fitted with donated foot collars and will be closely observed to ensure their safety in light of the current wave of poaching.

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