Kariega rhino poaching survivor's baby girl named

Cape Town - It is only fitting that the safe haven Kariega Game Reserve, where the rhino who escaped death after poaching and lived to give birth to a baby rhino girl, has decided to name the baby Thembi, meaning "hope" in isiXhosa.

The announcement was made at a small function on the reserve three years on from the brutal poaching of Thandi, Themba and an unnamed bull rhino on 2 March 2012.

Dr William Fowlds of Investec Rhino Lifeline said at event that “the name Thembi seemed to fit best given that this little calf has brought fresh hope and energy to those who struggle to secure the future of our rhino. She is a new generation of life, one I hope will never experience a poaching incident like her mother and namesake Themba.”

Themba was the male rhino rescued with Thandi, who tragically past away a few days after the rescue. 

See: Very special bundle of joy for Kariega Game Reserve

Dr Fowlds emphasized how their “story has become one of the most successful awareness building campaigns that this crisis has generated to date", the Game Reserve said on their website.

Foundation patron and Kariega co-owner Graeme Rushmere thanked the many people and organisations that have helped Thandi and the Kariega Foundation Save our Rhino project at the function. He said that they “are grateful to everyone who has supported Kariega and the rhino during the roller coaster journey over the past three years".

It seems like Thembi might be a symbol of hope for rhinos in the grander scheme of things as well, as WildAid announced in a press release that there has been a notable rise in awareness among Chinese citizens of the severe impact rhino horn trade had on wildlife.

Based on the results from surveys conducted in China's three largest cities - Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou - between November 2012 and November 2014, WildAid found that that 95% of respondents favoured stricter punishments for rhino horn trade offenders.

Here are a few of the key findings on rhino horn revealed by the survey:

• Respondents who believe that rhino horn has medicinal effects dropped by 23.5%, from 58.2% in 2012 to 44.5% in 2014.

• 95% of residents surveyed who don’t consume rhino horn agree that the Chinese government should take stricter action to prevent rhino horn consumption, while even 87 percent of rhino horn consumers agree with stricter regulations.

• 90% of residents who had viewed the campaign’s public service messages starring Yao Ming or Jackie Chan said they would not buy rhino horn.

• 50 percent of respondents believe that horns come from poached rhinos, a 51.5% increase in awareness since 2012.

Please share your photos and information with us at info@traveller24.com or post them on our FacebookTwitter or Instagram accounts - you could be featured on News24. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
Until the matric exams are over, my family is:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Self-isolating to ensure we don't miss any exams
13% - 176 votes
Following Covid-19 safety protocols, but still going out like normal
54% - 758 votes
Business as usual, we're not worried about the virus
33% - 464 votes
Brent Crude
All Share
Top 40
Financial 15
Industrial 25
Resource 10
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo