"The Big Female" and her calf (Baby Rue) were found by our BatHawk Pilot, Bruce, on Thursday morning.
The calf is not wounded and alive.
He stayed at his mothers side nudging her to get up, trying to suckle and chasing off the hyenas that had began to feed on her.
This cow is known very well by our team and she had a beautiful nature, trusting thousands of visitors to get near to her and her calf. She no doubt has thousands of photographs of her and her offspring hanging on walls all over the world.
Her last three calves were all bulls, and they inherited her calm demeanour.
Sadly, her calf prior to this one was poached at three years old, her older bull was shot but survived and now this little guy has been orphaned.
This little calf was very feisty and didn't enjoy other rhinos getting near his mom. He was never more than a few meters from her side.
We were also fortunate enough to spend time with them 24 hours after she had given birth to him.
THANK GOODNESS Bruce, who was patrolling in the BatHawk, discovered him and he was able to call in SANParks who airlifted him to safety.
He is safe now but obviously distressed without his mother.
He will be cared for by wonderful people at an orphanage and OHNM will make sure that we help with all the medical and food funding that they will need for him, as well as plenty of other little calves that he will grow up with.
If you would like to support Baby Rue or the Bathawk, please send me an email at
firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond once I have more information.
For those of you that met The Big Female, please remember to keep her legacy alive.
We would love you to share any pics that you may have of her with us.
Once the heartache and anger subsides, we will continue to do what we can for the love of rhinos that she instilled in our hearts. We will NOT let her die in vain.
Rest peacefully beautiful beast and Thank you.
-Please understand that we support and respect the work that the Police, SANParks and our rangers do, so I can only give you limited information.-
Photo - Bruce McDonald, BatHawk Pilot