Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Baby Rhino Gets New Mate

Thabo and Ntombi a Zululand Story

Just three days before Christmas, six month-old white rhino Thabo received a great gift of a new friend. The air was filled with excitement as Thula Thula owners Lawrence and Fran├žoise Anthony, rangers and guests eagerly awaited the new arrival. Finally, eight month-old Ntombi, clocking in at almost 300kgs, arrived at her new home, Thula Thula Exclusive Private Game Reserve. Ntombi’s mother was killed by another rhino and she was rescued by the staff at Moholoholo Rehab Centre in the Limpopo. After much love and attention from her handler, student volunteer Alyson McPhee, traumatised Ntombi soon settled down and regained her strength at Moholoholo. As previously published in the Zululand Observer, baby Thabo was found alone and badly dehydrated on a game farm in the Free State. Also rescued by staff at the Moholoholo Rehab Centre, Thabo was acquired at five months by Thula Thula. Both baby rhinos require 24-hour attention from their handlers. A large part of their time is spent snoozing and grazing around the lodge, much to the delight of the guests who keep a healthy distance from these boisterous youngsters. Thabo and Ntombi quickly formed a firm friendship and have settled well at Thula. As soon as they are old enough the two will be released into the wild, thus ensuring continued survival of the White rhino species in the area. Moholoholo General Manager Brian Jones, and the staff at both Thula Thula and the Moholoholo Animal Rehabilitation Centre are dedicated to the care of abandoned or injured wildlife and successfully reintroducing them into the wild.