The story of the blind rhino was sweet but a quick lesson in one of the ways they are protecting and boosting the numbers of rhino. Due to this rhino being blind, they (the rangers) would proceed to take any calf away from her so as to protect it for her. Being blind would mean she would not be able to protect the calf from any danger so by taking the calf away, the rangers could raise the calf in a safe environment. On occasions, they would bring the mother in for breeding as well then track her until she gave birth. Simple, but effective thinking, really.
To give an example of how real, scary, and sad the state the rhino’s were in, in the 70’s the numbers of black rhino plummeted from 20,000 to a mere 2,000 from both poaching and interaction with local communities who would just kill them. Shocking. Known as the ‘plight of the black rhino’ the numbers would continue to fall until there was a low of just 63 in the area. And now it may not seem like a huge number, but through the realisation of a lady named Anna Merz in the 80’s, the number has now slowly risen to 143 (at time of writing). Anna was a livestock farmer who was watching these great prehistoric animals disappear from her vision of what she called home and knew something had to be done to help the rhino. She started by fencing off 5000 acres of her farm and spending much of her time, feeding and caring for the rhinos, sometimes walking with them too to keep them protected- something that takes massive courage. Now the area employs 120 rangers, including trackers, as well as a full-time vet that is trained to not only attend to rhinos but zebra, elephant, plains game and many other animals that might have developed an injury. As well as this, they are creating a better education system for local communities so the next generation can learn how such a thing as conservation can not only help their immediate surroundings but also the experiences of the many numbers of visitors such as me.