Gertjie and Matimba are moved to a new enclosure

Gertjie & Matimba at HESC
On 22nd June, we moved Gertjie and Matimba to one of the bigger enclosures. When we started with the move, it seemed as though it was going to be easy. The rhinos responded well when we called them, and eagerly started following the vehicle together. In tow were Lammie, Nungu and Boo, the donkey. None wanted to be left out of the excitement.
There was a somewhat of a hiccup as we passed the cheetah enclosures. The rhinos were a bit reluctant to go past this area, but after we enticed them with some lucerne, and reassurance from the curators, they eventually followed. After seeing his big brother take the first step, Matimba happily followed (but stayed very close to) Gertjie’s side.
Gertjie, Matimba, Lammie, Nungu & Boo at HESC
Just as we thought we had it in the bag, we hit another minor obstacle. Gertjie and Matimba had to walk across the cattle grid to get to their enclosure. We’d placed a conveyor belt over the grid to make it easier for them. This time Matimba took the lead to show Gertjie how it’s done. But shortly after inspecting the cattle grid from up close, he gave Gertjie a look that clearly said “help”. Being the big brother that he is, Gertjie came closer. After a very long struggle, they eventually won. The challenge was to now think of a plan to get them into their new enclosure.
We led the rhinos through an empty cheetah enclosure, which had a gate leading into their new camp. To see the trust that has developed between man and animal is beautiful, as both rhinos obediently followed the curators. As soon as they had entered their new space they started to graze and we peacefully left them to be. What a process!
Gertjie & Matimba at HESC
Gertjie and Matimba are very happy in their new home and enjoy the big space they now have to roam around in. Matimba never takes his eyes off Gertjie, making sure that his big brother doesn’t leave him behind. We are still in amazement at the bond between these two rhino brothers, and how Matimba immediately adopted Gertjie as his big brother; his safety.
We still spoil them with some teff or lucerne every once in a while just to make sure they don’t forget us….
Gertjie & Matimba at HESC

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Julie snydets

    Wishing Gertjie and Matimba a long and peaceful life..

  2. B.J. Hocter

    You have done a remarkable act of kindness and love towards them…I am going to miss them and their snoring!!!

  3. Sharon

    What a journey these two amazing boys are on. I am overjoyed for their success and happiness. Thank you HESC for helping Gertjie and Matimba grow strong and thrive. Please keep us updated on them as they enjoy their new quarters!

  4. Ирина

    I really wanted to see what the big steel. Thanks for the info.

  5. Lori

    This story is so amazing. I am so proud of these two boys! And you guys, wow, you have their trust and they knew you would not hurt them. The connection, the bond, is so great that they swallowed their fears and went where you led them. You guys should always remember that moment. It is heroic. It is legend. It is epic. Cheers to you all.

  6. Rebecca Krutsinger

    So wonderful!!!!

  7. HESC

    Thank you all for the well wishes. We will definitely keep you posted on how the boys are doing.

  8. Lynda

    So happy to have an update on Little G and Matimba. Also so saddened to learn of Muddy’s passing. I love watching the Rhinos and wonder when they will be on camera again.
    Love the work you do. Such lucky babies to have such devoted care takers.

    1. HESC

      Thank you Lynda.

  9. HESC

    Thank you 🙂

  10. Shelly

    Love it all and so proud of you who took the time and effort to care for these magnificent animals. However, be reassured they will never forget you and your kindness. Well done guys you are awesome. Just wish like crazy that we, had been part of this humongous project from the start.

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