On the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, the rangers keep an eye on a variety of creatures from Grevy’s Zebra to the Black Rhino. On occasion they observed a mother rhino with her calf in what seemed an odd situation. The baby seemed confused, bumping into things and not staying with his mom.
This little rhino was Nicky. He was born blind. It is a congenital condition caused by cataracts. It is correctable, and it is the hope that funds can be raised to bring in a specialist to restore Nicky’s eyesight.
The staff at Lewa felt his safety would surely have been compromised if left in the wild. So he was taken from his mom. He now lives at the family home of Mike Watson, the CEO at Lewa. He is given round the clock care from two handlers, he is never left alone. His new boma (enclosure) has a padded play area for his safety. Nicky runs, plays, takes baths, rolls in the mud, goes for walks, and naps like any other young rhino.
Due to human contact and his condition, it is unlikely Nicky will ever return to the wild. However, he is considered an ambassador for the black rhino species, and hopefully his story can help to bring attention to the plight of his kind.