He ain’t Heavy, He’s my Brother – Orphaned Rhino, Matimba’s Journey at HESC.
He was not more than one month old, and weighed a mere sixty kilograms. They say that he and his mother were most likely enjoying a mud bath together, when the gruesome attack happened. He would have watched, helplessly, as his mother was slaughtered in front of him and left for dead.
The attack happened on the 19th November, and a tiny baby rhino, was found on the 20th November, laying next to his mothers body. He had spent an entire day and night, next to her, scared and all alone. Little Matimba had a horrific start to his now orphaned life.
Dr Peter Rogers and is team at Provet contacted us, saying that they were bringing this baby rhino to HESC. We were all waiting, nervous and anxious to help this traumatised baby rhino. Just six months prior, we had been preparing in the same way for Gertjie’s arrival after he was rescued. It felt like yesterday.
Luckily he settled down quite quickly, and he was very accepting of his bottle, which was great news for us all. We named him Matimba.
With the love and care of our team, he became more confident with every passing day, and it was wasn’t long before he went on his first official walk around the centre, seen in this video:
A month later, we decided it may be time to introduce him to Gertjie, and see how they would get along together. Matimba was nine months younger than Gertjie, so the gap was not too big, however their body sizes were considerably different. With that in mind, we did not expect the introduction to go as it did, seen in this video:
Gertjie and Matimba eventually hit it off. Two orphaned rhino’s who had both suffered the same ordeals, but found hope with us at HESC. Four years later, and they are never apart from one another. Matimba was, and remains today, Gertjie’s “adopted” younger brother.
Matimba started to get bigger, and like all the rhino’s at HESC, could not resist the “Scratch Rock”, every rhino at HESC’s favourite place to have a good scratch in heard to reach places
Nearly four years on, and Matimba is a very healthy and happy young rhino bull. We have placed both him and Gertjie in a piece of land shared by two rhino cows, both brave survivors of rhino poaching, called Dingle Dell and Lion’s Den, and the four get on very well, respecting each others space.
Looking back, we are very proud of the journey they have both taken since their arrival at HESC. They have been symbols of hope and love for us and many round the world.
If you would like to foster Matimba, to help us with his daily costs, please look at the various options available.
The HESC Team.