Baby Rhinos!

I’ve never been a great lover of zoos, in spite of the great conservation work many of them do, and have always liked my willdife as ‘natural’ as possible, but watching the final episode of Attenborough’s Africa this week, reminded me of my encounter with a young black rhino named Lola, in Kenya. 

Journey into Africa
Lola, the young black rhino

In my case the youngster had been born to a blind rhino mother and while she was large enough to defend herself, being blind she couldn’t defend her young calf from almost certain predation by lion or hyena.  Consequently reserve rangers always had to take her calves off her, ( she was a prodigious breeder), and raise her calves on the bottle.  This gave visitors to Lewa Downs a chance to get much closer to a very rare and hugely threatened species than would normally be  possible.

In spite of my doubts, this was a hugely uplifting experience; the calf tottered about, playing and ‘talking’ to us, eager for her very large bottle of milk, and then promptly fell asleep in the grass.  You couldn’t fail but love her!

Experiences like this and seeing black or white rhino in the wild, makes the current plight of rhino in Africa, where one animal is being poached every day, all the more horrific.    I’m sure if we all could meet a rhine like Lola,  this senseless trade would stop.

Black rhino and young calf, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania.

Black rhino and young calf, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania.

About ajourneyintoafrica

I’ve both lived and worked in Africa in the safari industry and now have over 32 years of safari experience. I first visited Africa as an 18 year old, when I developed a huge interest and love for the continent. I led my first safari in 1986, after gaining an environmental science degree from London University, and have always been captivated by Africa’s animal and bird-life, by its huge horizons and wide open spaces, and by its people and cultures.

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