These days, with the rhinoceros turmoil in our country, rhino management has changed dramatically. It is our mandate to provide rescue and care for the rhino in our protected areas. This includes translocation of rhino between protected areas for population heath and genetic strength as well as the  management of injuries and escapees. Rhino work is by far the most gratifying of all the species we are privileged enough to work with. Its almost as if the rhino has a way of communicating with the team when we are busy with them. They are and extremely vulnerable species which we are very passionate about.


The team have over the years done some really amazing rhino recoveries. One in particular was a rhino cow that got stuck in the mud at Loskop dam nature reserve. It was the middle of the night when the report of the stuck rhino came in. We scrambled out to the animal with every rope and shovel we could find to assess the situation. The rhino was quickly darted  where she lay almost three quarters deep into the wet clay mud pool. Once under anesthesia, and with a blind fold over the eyes and ear plugs secured, the process of digging her out began. After approximately two and a half hours an endless round loop strap was secured behind the front legs and the animals was safely pulled out of the mud with the assistance of our Unimog recovery vehicle. We have had recent success with rhino stuck in the mud due to the receding dam water levels the past few years.

Due to the poaching increase over the past few years there have been a handful of incidents of orphan baby rhino being left behind after their mothers have been poached. Game management prides ourselves in having done some amazing rescues to get these baby rhino to a safe sanctuary.


Poaching wounds, general wound care and wound treatment from fighting are the common treatment and care incidents. These incidents need a hands on approach to ensure the survival of the injured individual for future stability of the species.


“Take your rhino out for a walk” is the name of the game. Due to the drug combinations used for rhino immobilizations, it is possible to partially reverse the animal, so much so to get it to its feet without it having full consciousness to run away from you. This is a very practical method to move these beasts into transport crates for translocation. The animals are darted from a helicopter and the ground crew, once it is safe to do so, secure a blind fold over the eyes and a rope over the front horn. The partial antidote is administered and the rhino is pulled and steered with the help of this front rope to the destination.


A great deal of time, effort and funding has gone into the protection of the remaining rhino under the MTPA control. In the past we were annually involved with the micro- chipping of every individual rhino on our reserves. This gave each individual their own Identification. Also, if the animals was poached and the horns were taken, the horn could be traced with a scanner at a later stage. More recently however we have employed a different strategy, the complete removal of the horn. De- horning has bought the MTPA a lot of time during this terrible war on our rhino. The process is simple, dart the animal, cut off the horn, repeat every couple of years as the horn re- grows. This is still an ongoing management tool for the rhino populations under our control.


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