Posts Tagged With: HESC

Protecting rhinos with 4-legged rangers

We are pleased to announce with YOUR generosity, we have been able to fully fund the training of Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre’s APU canine unit!


Trainer, Corlet; photo: HESC

A word to all of you from our friends at HESC:

Words cannot sufficiently express our gratitude towards Fight for Rhinos for being one of our most ardent and loyal supporters.

Fight for Rhinos generously committed to assisting with the successful care and training of our anti-poaching canines at HESC – both for the protection of our rhinos and the rangers.

Over the past few months, Fight for Rhinos has managed to successfully raise an amazing ZAR80 000 (5500 usd) which they’ve donated to HESC’s Wildlife Conservation Trust.

We are so thrilled by their effort and generosity. A BIG thank you to Fight for Rhinos and each and every person who contributed towards the campaign.

You can continue protecting rhinos by sponsoring our canine units at HESC and Ol Pejeta Conservancy with a monthly OR one time donation. Every dollar is a help toward keeping them safe.


Zee and Bullet with handler, Simon. photo: HESC

Categories: Good News, Making a Difference, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Bonding of Gertje and Matimba

Sometimes life throws two souls together at the right place and time, forming a lasting friendship, an unexplainable bond. That’s the story of Gertje and Matimba, the two orphan rhinos at Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre.

These boys have both endured the trauma of losing their mothers to poachers in the beginning of their young lives. Gertje (also known as Little G) made headlines, as he pulled heartstrings. Found crying inconsolably next to his dead mother, he was brought to HESC over a year ago, bonding with his caretakers, as he was too heartbroken and afraid to even sleep alone.

Gertje was paired up with a sheep to provide companionship. With his own webcam, viewers could tune in to watch the two of them in his boma, as he slept, or more often; restlessly paced about.

gertje little

Little G, Gertje, being consoled by his caretaker soon after his arrival. photo: HESC

About 9 months ago little Matimba was rescued; he and his dead mother were found covered in mud, indicating at his young age of less than a month old, he had likely just enjoyed his first mudbath minutes before the poaching.

matimba little

Matimba, at just weeks old, when he first arrived in the centre. photo: HESC

In December of 2014, the two were introduced. Initially Gertje was less than enthusiastic; unsure what to make of this miniature replica of himself. It took him a couple of hours to become assured that the little bundle of energy wasn’t a threat, and as caretaker, Anri said only a couple of days “to completely accept each other”.

According to Anri, as the boys grow older, their natural instincts will kick in and they will grow less affectionate towards each other. Adult bulls are generally solitary and associate only with females in oestrus.

Regardless of what the future holds, their bond at the moment is deep and vital to their growth. In a perfect world, rhinos remain with their moms for 2-3 years before venturing out on their own. Their relationship is unusual and may not replace the nurture of “mom”, but it brings a bit of solace in an otherwise horrible circumstance.

gert and matimba on flattened termite mound

Gertje and Matimba enjoying their newly flattened termite mound. photo: HESC

*Fight for Rhinos is looking forward to our first visit to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre in September. If you have any questions for the rhino caretakers on Gertje or Matimba, please email us at We’ll gladly find out.


Categories: Rhino Ramblings, Rhino Spotlight | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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