Inverdoorn Game Reserve, in Western Cape, is pleased to announce the arrival of a Southern White Rhino baby. It is the second rhino birth at Inverdoorn which boasts several conservation programs including a Rhino horn prosthetics programme that serves to curb the scourge of poaching of the rhinoceros to extinction.
This welcome birth on March 25, 2018, is joyful news on the heels of the death of the last male Northern White Rhino, Sudan, in Laikipia, Kenya.
The wildlife dynamism of the reserve has already allowed it to welcome the birth of 2 baby buffaloes as well as the baby southern white Rhino, and a baby hippo in this early 2018.
A refreshing news when Sudan just left us
Recent population estimates suggest that there are between 19, 682 and 21, 077 southern white Rhinos in the world with the vast majority within the borders of South Africa. The gender of the baby is unknown at present as the staff have been allowingthe mother time to bond with her new offspring. Mother and baby are thriving. The happy addition was the second born to the Rhinoprotect team at Inverdoorn in the last 3 years. Guests can enjoy the heartwarming of a growing baby rhino rolling in the mud as he’s being tutored by its attentive mother.
South Africa has the largest populations of both black and white rhinoceros in the world. Between 2007 and 2014 a 9000% increase in poaching was recorded and increased protection efforts were in dire need. The increasing sophistication of poaching gangs have resulted in depletion in neighbouring country populations as well as locally. Conservation programmes and the success of rhino orphanages have had a role to play in managing the population numbers.
Poaching was the largest contributor to the status of the rhinoceros on the endangered list.
The Inverdoorn and Rhinoprotect constant efforts to preserve this endangered species
Inverdoorn Game Reserve is situated in the Klein Karoo, in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Offering Safaris and home to South Africa’s Big Five since 2012, it is a conservation stronghold and strives to save threatened species. Its 10 000 hectares are located only 2 and half hours away from Cape Town city and offers a glamorous safari experience amidst a strong conservation ethic, running both a cheetah conservation programme along with Rhinoprotect.
Rhinoprotect was founded in 2011 by Damian Vergnaud, at Inverdoorn Game Reserve with the aim to stop the poaching. With the introduction of 2 baby rhinos in 2012, a Rhinoprotect orphanage was soon established. A pioneering program of developing horn prosthetics to dissuade poachers has undergone constant development. The natural horn of the mature rhinoceros is removed and an artificial one, originally made of resin, is then bonded to the animal. The new horn replicas are now 3-d printed and have been proving more effective in protecting the rhino, by being comfortable for the rhino and of having no value to poachers.
The rhinos are a very protective with their babies
The gestation period of a southern white rhino is between 16 to 18 months long and the interval between calving is between 3 to 4 years long. The babies stand up within the first hour of birth and suckle exclusively for two months until they begin to graze on their own. The white Rhino is distinct from the other, less prevalent, South African species, the Black Rhinoceros (on the critically endangered list), with its flat upper lip for grazing on grasslands. The babies remain close to the mother for the first 3 years of its life despite weaning after the first year. These habits make the animal extremely vulnerable to poaching.
The birth of the baby rhinoceros at Inverdoorn marks new hope for the rhinoceros as well as a joyful indication of the success of Rhinoprotect’s efforts for conservation.