Help Us Save South Africa’s Rhinos
“Conservation is humanity caring for the future.”
In January 2021 ORYX photo tour leader Marius Coetzee was granted special permission and the amazing opportunity to visit the Zululand Rhino Orphanage, where he spent some time with the wildlife residents and the people who selflessly care for them.
The orphanage falls under the Zululand Conservation Trust, which is a non-profit organisation that passionately preserves, protects and nurtures the land and its wonderful wildlife for future generations.
How did the Zululand Rhino Orphanage come about?
The Zululand Conservation Trust began taking in orphaned rhinos on 20 February 2017 under tragic circumstances when poachers targeted a regional rhino orphanage. Fear over this ongoing security threat was the deciding factor in the facility closing their doors, and with rhino orphans urgently in need of a home, the Zululand Conservation Trust stepped in.
Thanks to the hardworking team of resourceful employees, they managed to build a 3.5 hectare boma for the two oldest black rhino orphans – Storm and Nandi, who on March 14th 2017 took take their first tentative steps into their new home.
Next, they set about preparing the enclosure for the remaining three orphans who required round the clock care. Thankfully, with the incredible support of Container Conversions, they were able to have a facility set up in a matter of weeks, kitted out with a kitchen for milk preparations and a warm, safe sleeping area. And by April 2017, the two white rhinos, Makhosi and Isomiso, as well as Charlie, their baby hippo friend, were welcomed into their new home.
A month later, while the orphans were settling in, they received a devastating call to help a calf from another reserve. For six cold, rainy days, a tiny calf had survived next to the lifeless carcass of his mother who had been poached.
Having just opened their doors, every space was already occupied but a plan was implemented to design a temporary living space for the little calf, who was called Ntoto.
While the Zululand Rhino Orphanage might have been born from tragedy, ultimately their story is one of hope. Nurturing and raising their precious survivors is of the utmost importance.
It is their mission to ensure they are released back into the wild, where they belong.
How can you help?
You can help the orphanage care for their orphans by donating to the Zululand Conservation Trust to support their rhino rehabilitation work and development of the facility.
Alternatively, the Zululand Rhino Orphanage has partnered with Helping Rhinos to give you the option to adopt your favourite orphan!
You will receive a certificate, information about your newly adopted rhino orphan and a photo. Your adoption fee goes toward ensuring these orphans get the food, medication, protection and care they need.
Choose an option below to donate to the general care of our rhino (and hippo!) orphans and maintenance/improvements of the facility or to view Helping Rhinos adoption tiers.
Images by Marius Coetzee