Rhino Spotlight

If Jackson Pollock were a rhino

What creative genius lies behind these eyes? More than just beauty, Doppsee’s got artistic flair!

Doppsee, resident black rhino and hopeful future mom at Potter Park Zoo, has graciously lent her artistic genius toward Fight for Rhinos Art Auction.

“Doppsee’s Garden” by Doppsee

“In the Mood for Blue” by Doppsee

Don’t miss your chance to own one of these gorgeous originals from the up and coming artist! Auction begins Aug 28th! All proceeds benefit canine APUs.

About the Artist: Doppsee is a ten-year old striking black rhino. Rather sweet-tempered (as far as black rhinos go), when she is not creating art, her interests include dining, mudbaths, and unabashedly seeking out attention from her caregivers.

Dops’ latest hobby involves her love interest, Phinneas. Her new neighbor just moved in from Texas, and they’ve taken quite the liking to one another. The next project for this talented lady? With any luck-motherhood!


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Survivor and Mom..twice

Survivor of a brutal poaching

from Kariega Reserve 2012

Bringer of hope and life, becoming a mom

with daughter Thembi, Kariega Reserve, 2015


Defying the odds, birthing a second calf

with son, Colin, April 2017

Is there anyone who embodies what it means to be a mom more than the infamous Thandi? Happy Mother’s Day!

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Miracle rhino gives birth (again)!

Thandi’s a mama (again)-watch the video


First glimpses of mama and baby from Ranger Daniel @ Kariega.    

Read about Thandi’s Story and about her first baby, Thembi, It’s Official, Thandi’s a mum! 

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Jimmy the “pet” rhino

In 2007, photographer David Hulme came across a baby black rhino near the body of his poached mother. He took the little orphan to family friends, Anne and Roger Whittall, in Zimbabwe.

They named him Jimmy. Incredibly, they successfully raised him, and he quickly became a part of the family, bonding with Anne and befriending the family dogs. Even years after he was released, he still came to visit them regularly.

Jimmy Rhino at dining table by caters news agency

Jimmy rhino at kitchen window by caters news agency

Jimmy Rhino still visits Carters News Agency

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Baby rhino gives Sudan new lease on life

The baby southern white rhino was abandoned by mom and found by the Ol Pejeta team when he was only 2 weeks old. Very sick and barely alive, he has made an amazing recovery with the help of caretakers.

Named Ringo, after rhino advocate Ringo Starr, he has been introduced to Sudan, the last male northern white rhino on the planet. The two make quite the pair. Click below to watch more:

ringo rhino opc

 Photo By: Camilla Le May Photography

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The Amazing Lammie


Lammie resting in the shade. photo: Fight for Rhinos

There are no limits to the variety of residents taken in at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. With a specialty in cheetahs, they also house a feisty zebra, retired circus lions and poaching survivors Dingle Dell and Lion’s Den.

But in 2014 a special little rhino was brought to the centre; Gertje, or little G, as he affectionately became known. The orphaned little rhino was traumatized after witnessing his mother brutally poached. Even with the diligent compassion and nurture from his human caregivers, he needed something more.

At 3 weeks of age, Lammie was brought to the Centre and introduced to Gertje. The unlikely duo quickly formed a bond, following each other by day, sleeping together in the evenings.

Not long after, Matimba, another orphaned rhino was rescued and introduced to the duo. Once again, without hesitation, Lammie welcomed the new orphan, the odd little family grew to three.


Feeding time means three heads often vying for the same bowl. Lammie seems to have no concept that she is somehow the smallest of the three. Photo: Fight for Rhinos

This last year has seen the family grow again, with the addition of orphan rhinos Stompie and Balu. And with the photos of the quartet, as always she is a familiar face never far off.

gert matimba stompie balu lammie

Gertje, Matimba, Stompie, Balu and Lammie. Photo: HESC

She is not partial to rhinos, as she recently showed with her mothering skills of Amanzi, the baby elephant.

lammie with ele

Click photo for video. Lammie and Amanzi via Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre



Lammie photo: Fight for Rhinos

The now 2 year old lamb has been an integral part to so many lives; part watchdog, part companion, part mother-she is a special girl; playing a larger role in the rehabilitation of her endangered companions.

Although she seems to have no idea. She is simply content with her share of the love, always there to “help” clear the food bowls and receive her pat on the head.




















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Engineering a Second Chance for Rhinos

“Necessity is the mother of invention.”

Poaching has made it a priority to save every rhino possible.This means even the most violently injured poaching victims receive the utmost in care; with veterinary staff leaving no stone unturned in their journey to heal and rehabilitate them.

In the July of 2013 the miracle survivor, Thandi underwent a groundbreaking plastic surgery to help repair her gaping wound left from poaching. Four years later, she is mostly recovered, but still experiences her wound opening from time to time.

thandi after


Never anticipating a rhino could miraculously survive such an attack, it happened yet again with a cow named Hope. This time, this rhino literally lost more than half of her face.

Hope early poaching

Hope, in the beginning. photo: Saving the Survivors

With such a daunting task ahead of them, the veterinary staff constantly strive to find solutions to her recovery. Here is the latest report on Hope from Saving the Survivors:

 The wound healing is not progressing as fast as we would like. As you are all aware we have given her a break from the long anaesthetics to give her system time to recover.

Because the healing rate has slowed, we have been in contact with a biotechnology company to explore the various possibilities with regards her healing. To keep it simple (not too sciencey) we are looking at using collagen sheets inserted into the living tissue of the wound to create a wound matrix onto which cells can grow so we can start closing the cavity.

It will most probably be very costly but it is worth every cent if it means we can give this iconic young lady quality of life and long happy healthy future – we owe that to her.

We are still looking at our best options for this very special rhino girl. What we can say with some certainty is that she is mostly pain-free. We hope to have more news for you in the next couple of weeks.

Hope now feb 2016

Hope today

The process of treating these endangered giants has grown from simple bandaging to research, testing and pushing the limits of human creativity. Whether successfully achieving the delicate process of skin grafting or engineering the perfect rhino-proof shield; it is a testament to our determination in saving the species.


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Update on Harapan

Just a few photos of Harapan in his new home at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Indonesia. He’s happy and healthy and seems to have transitioned well!

For more on the epic voyage of the amazing Sumatran who was the last of his kind in the western hemisphere, see New Hope for Sumatrans and  The Journey of Hope.

Harapan Dec 2015

Harapan Dec 2015 2

Harapan Dec 2015 3

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Mabuya the survivor

We wanted to share with you the story of resilience and survival this holiday season. Mubuya the rhino, has been beating the odds for most of her life, yet continues to persevere.

mabuya the blind rhino

Mabuya. photo: International Rhino Foundation

In 2005 while moving rhinos from an area overrun with poachers to a safer area in the Bubye Valley, a female rhino named Mabuya was tranquilized and readied for her move. The capture team immediately noticed scars indicating that she had been caught in a neck snare. Later, while drilling into her horn to place a tracking device, the veterinarian noticed an AK-47 bullet was lodged deep within her horn.

She had already survived TWO poaching attempts!

Three years later, Mabuya was in the midst of another attempted poaching.  This time when the team arrived at the crime scene, they discovered that Mabuya’s new calf had been killed. She and her sub-adult calf had survived.

Last year, Mabuya was discovered wandering blind and alone, separated from her sub-adult calf. She was quickly captured and brought in for medical attention. She had been shot through one eye and had a severe ulceration on the other. For days, a caretaker visited Mabuya to apply eye medicine and hand-feed her browse she had collected from the surrounding area.

During treatment, she miraculously gave birth yet again to a calf. This calf was later removed for hand rearing when he developed health issues.

Mabuya and baby

Mabuya and her baby. photo: International Rhino Foundation

Unfortunately, Mabuya never regained her sight. She was taken in for 8 months for closer monitoring and care. Then the decision was made to release her and let her have as normal a life as possible. She shares resources with other rehabilitated rhinos, and is monitored through her tracking chip regularly.

Thanks to our friends at the International Rhino Foundation for supporting Mabuya and the team who tirelessly care for her!


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The Journey of Hope

A few weeks ago we said farewell to Harapan, the only Sumatran rhino in North America, as he made his journey to Indonesia. Bittersweet, as he was a huge part of a highly successful conservation program here in the US; but inevitable if we are to do the species justice.

His move will both give him a richer life, and with the highest of hopes bring our world another baby Sumatran or two.

Here is the video of his epic journey.


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