Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park (HiP), situated in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, is often referred to as the birthplace of rhinos, as it was here that the last 50 southern white rhinos were protected more than a century ago, saving this species from the brink of extinction and recovering to a population of nearly 20,000 today.
This incredible park is managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, the authority responsible for reintroducing white rhinos to Kruger National Park, now home to the largest population of white rhinos in the world. Through lessons learned on the ground, various proactive tactics have been identified by Ezemvelo that outline a conservation management strategy. Guiding this strategy is the implementation of intensive protection zones within the network of parks to more efficiently patrol critical hotspots and protect core rhino populations. It is across these landscapes that Wildlife ACT works with Ezemvelo, assisting them with the monitoring of priority species, including its rhinos.
Wildlife ACT’s expert rhino tracker, Zama Ncube, and Priority Species Monitor, Izzy Rowles, were in HiP with an Ezemvelo field ranger monitoring white rhinos when they heard the desperate cries of a rhino calf coming from a deep gully. A frantic and clearly distressed mother was pacing up and down nearby, focusing her attention on one spot. Carefully navigating their way around her, Izzy couldn’t quite believe it when she spotted a tiny, 4-week-old white rhino calf that was four meters below her feet, huffing and puffing at its predicament.
The following video shows footage of the amazing rescue and how, over two hours, the three of them worked tirelessly to maneuver this little female rhino through a tunnel and out of the gully to reunite with her mother:
Celebrate World Rhino Day on September 22!
Read the full story of this rhino rescue by visiting Wildlife ACT’s blog here.