Every attempt is made to save the endangered rhino by fostering orphaned babies

Posted by Magda on Mon April 13, 2015 in Wild and Wonderful.

When visiting Nabana Lodge, make sure a visit to The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre is on you list of things to do.... they are going to great lenghts to save the rhino through fostering orphaned babies

The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre should be one of the "must see" items on your bucket list when visiting Nabana Lodge. Daily 2 hour tours are undertaken at 09h00, 11h00, 13h00 and 15h00, with more tours during holiday season. The cost is R140.00 per adult, R65.00 per child and R110.00 for pensioners. For R300.00 you can participate in the Cheetah Focus Tour which includes the standard tour, a cheetah run, wild dog and vulture feeding. The centre focuses on the conservation of rare, vulnerable or endangered animals - and orphaned baby rhinos fit all categories. Such is the greed of rhino poachers that even those with calves are gunned down for the horn whilst the baby calf is left with the carcass and a very slim chance of rescue.

 This is where HESC stepped in, expanding its facility to accommodate rhino orphans. Currently two calves are fostered here; one year old Little G, orphaned in May 2014 and 5 month old Matimba, orphaned in November of the same year. Both young ones are thriving with Matimba having been taken under the wing of Little G, being very protective of him and showing him the ropes at the centre. Security measure has to be stepped up to care and protect the baby rhino and a new security initiative called “Eyes on Rhinos” has been launched. The first phase provides video footage of the little rhinos in their bedroom and is broadcast live on the web in partnership with africam.com where the world can check on the babies rehab and development at any moment. Viewers can also connect to the HESC donation portal and contribute directly to the care and security of the orphans. This is only the first phase of an extensive protection program, with a total cost of 5 million ZAR. Looking at the loss of 1215 rhinos during 2014 alone, protection of the species is not an option anymore.