Our rhino cow, Splithorn, gave birth to a baby male, Henry on the 29th of January 2014. Splithorn was a dominant cow within the Mount Camdeboo Reserve, and soon became fiercely protective over her calf.
The reserve’s open Karoo plains provided the perfect playground for Henry, and for the next nine months, Henry and Splithorn were inseparable.
Tragically, one day in October in the early hours of the morning, Splithorn was brutally poached, leaving Henry alone to fend for himself. Disoriented and confused, Henry spent the rest of the day aimlessly walking in circles.
Given that Henry was only nine months old at the time, the Mount Camdeboo rangers were concerned about him being on his own, and kept a close eye. However, as evening approached and the light began to wane, the rangers lost sight of Henry in a thicket of bush.
The search for Henry began at first light, and to their astonishment, they discovered that he had wandered up Paardefontein pass during the night, leading him directly into his brother’s territory.
Despite the fact that rhino bulls are usually solitary and associate only with females in oestrus, Henry’s brother revealed an extraordinary instinct, and amazingly took his younger sibling under his wing.
The two brothers have been inseparable ever since, and are never seen apart. Henry’s brother has since been named Khusela, meaning ‘protect’ in Xhosa – a very fitting description for this remarkable bull.
Since the poaching incident, security measures were significantly increased. As a precautionary measure the remainder of rhinos on the reserve were dehorned. The horn removal procedure was a success and we are very grateful to report that there have been no further poaching incidents on the reserve since. We would like to thank our APU (Anti-Poaching Unit) team, along with the support of the Wilderness Foundation, for their dedicated and tireless work to keep our rhinos safe. Also a special thanks to Poached Rhino who have provided substantial funding towards our APU and the preservation of our rhinos.