The year may be ending on a sour note in terms of rhino-poaching statistics, currently standing at 633 killed in South Africa this year. Inverdoorn, however, brings light into the dire darkness of this reality and moves forward with positivity into 2013 with the arrival of two baby rhinos, rescued by RhinoProtect. Inverdoorn was very happy and excited to welcome them, but their reason for coming is unfortunately a tragic one: the mothers of both babies were victims of poachers. Baby rhinos have a strong attachment to their mothers, thus the loss these two have suffered is devastating. The two calves are looking after each other now, with the help of the dedicated staff at Inverdoorn who have fallen in love with them. The bonds formed are both evident and heart-warming.
The rescued pair consist of a male and female, named Bundu and Livinia respectively. Bundu refers to the wild outdoors and automatically brings to mind the phrase bundu-bashing, which is a slang phrase for going on safari or being out in the wild. This name then is apt for the rhino, as bashing through the bundu is exactly what he should be doing. Livinia has been named after a beloved Afrikaans children's story character, Livinia Die Liewe Heksie, and is as cheeky and endearing as her namesake. Livinia is also quite nervous and temperamental and follows Bundu everywhere, glued to his side wherever he goes. Bundu, on the other hand, is affable and friendly. He has taken well to the rangers and handlers and is quite comfortable around people. Make no mistake though, even as babies they are tough and strong and whether excited or wary, even a gentle knock from either of these two will send you reeling. They have voracious appetites, consuming 2kg of brown rice each per day. Watching them eat is quite entertaining and, personally, brought to mind memories of my dogs trying to steal food out of each other's bowls. Bundu continues to entertain everyone as he gradually, and strategically, nudges Livinia out the way and dives into her bucket. With a new home and a new family they are adjusting well after their recent distress. Inverdoorn and RhinoProtect wish to start a rhino orphanage at the reserve for calves whose mothers have been lost to poaching and, as the first arrivals, Bundu and Livinia are excellent ambassadors.