Updated: Dec 8, 2020
I wanted to share the really exciting news that we have managed to adopt a 5th rhino and an elephant at Thula Thula. It has been 18 months since I started working on rhino conservation and this work has come really far, thanks to your generosity and kindness.
The most recent rhino that we have adopted is Mona. Mona is a really special rhino because she is the rhino who gave birth to Sissi, a miracle baby that was born against all odds during the Covid-19 pandemic. Sissi is the only southern white rhino born in the wild in Kwazulu-Natal in over one hundred years! Mona is one of the newer additions to the reserve, and this donation will help her have a good life, free of any poachers. Francoise, who runs Thula Thula, said that Mona is a really good mother, and takes very good care of Sissi. Recently, Mona even stood her ground at the watering hole with Sissi, against a large bull elephant. I have attached a picture of her doing that below.
Because people like all of you have been so generous in helping me work on wildlife conservation, we even managed to fund the adoption of an elephant! The elephant we adopted is the famous ex-matriarch of Thula Thula - Nana. She was born in 1964 and was the matriarch that helped the herd of rogue elephants rehabilitate in Thula Thula when Lawrence Anthony brought them over 21 years ago. If Lawrence hadn't rescued the elephants or if Nana and he didn't develop a bond that helped her settle her family into the new environment, that herd would have been put down. Instead, those 7 elephants have thrived at Thula Thula and grown into a family of nearly 30 in the last 20 years. Nana is now blind in 1 eye because of cataract, and she has handed over her matriarchal duties to Frankie. But she is still a much loved member of the Thula Thula elephant family.
As tourism has dried up during Covid-19, reservations like Thula Thula are more vulnerable to poachers than ever before because security is expensive. Just a few weeks ago, there was a poaching attack on the reserve. Francoise believes the poachers must have been after Mona, because she is the only rhino that isn't dehorned at Thula Thula, at the moment. Luckily, the guards and rangers managed to diffuse the situation in a timely manner. No rhino or human was hurt. Your donations have helped protect the rhinos in this situation, and will provide even more security to the rhinos in the future.
Have a lovely day!