Rhino Calf Orphaned at Aquila Private Game Reserve

Cape Town, December 31, 2015

The atmosphere at Aquila Private Game Reserve has filled with excitement after the arrival of its third baby rhino in just three months. Born on the early hours of New Year’s Eve, December 31 2015, the conservation team have been on high alert and working tirelessly to ensure the welfare of the newest addition.

While the first two calves, one born in October and one in mid-December, have been thriving without assistance from the reserve’s staff, due to initial challenges, the newest addition has unfortunately been rejected by its mother.


Searing temperatures in the Karoo mean that the reserve conservation team are in a race against time to uplift the calf to safety.  The calf is in desperate need of nourishment and Vets on the scene are concentrating on darting the Father, which comes with its own risks, so that they can reach the calf. The plan is to place the calf within the care of ARC (Aquila Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre) were it will be under 24 hour observation, with the ultimate aim of reintroducing the calf to the group.

The calf was born around 1am this morning, before being rejected by its mother. Initially, the reserve team tried to reintroduce the calf to the mother, but attempts at reunification failed as she once again rejected her newborn calf. The rhino calf’s abandonment has lead to serious dehydration concerns by management and Aquila’s conservation team. Although the calf is up and walking, it is imperative the calf receives nourishment as the heat of the day sets in. 

Despite the drama surrounding the birth, the team at the rescue centre remain optimistic and committed to providing the best care for this young rhino calf. Their experience and expertise in handling wildlife emergencies come to the forefront as they implement a comprehensive rescue and rehabilitation plan.

“We are committed to providing a sanctuary for these magnificent animals,” says Searl Derman, founder and owner of Aquila. “Our team is working around the clock to nurse the baby rhino back to health and eventually reintroduce it back into its natural habitat.”

The animal rescue and conservation centre is appealing to the public to support their efforts by raising awareness and making donations to help combat the threats against rhinos in Africa. Donations help to further strengthen the rescue centre’s efforts and support Saving private Rhino’s ongoing mission.

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