… a story of rehabilitation and love at first sight
It is with great joy that we can confirm that two more rhinos have been released back into the wild. The white rhinos Ike and Phillipa were rehabilitated at HESC after poaching incidents left both severely injured and traumatised, but they are now back in nature to roam free where they belong.
Their story is one of triumph over adversity and also a heart-warming love story.
Ike, now thought to be seven years old, arrived at HESC in October 2016 after a poaching incident in the Pilanesberg National Park left him with his horn hacked off. He was sent to us to convalesce by Saving the Survivors.
Extremely skittish when he first arrived, Ike not only found healing at HESC but also the love of his life, Phillipa, who was in an adjacent enclosure. It was love at first sight for these two beauties and they have been inseparable since they were put together with lovely, sociable Philippa’s presence contributing much to Ike eventually becoming more relaxed.
Phillipa found refuge with us in January 2016 as a youngster of two or three years old. She joined us after she and her mother were severely injured in a poaching incident on a reserve close by and the mother subsequently died. A new medical procedure used on Phillipa resulted in her wound healing within a few months and she became one of the most sociable rhinos at HESC.
Sociable as she was, she knew exactly what she wanted and with whom she wanted to spend time and in which rhino crash. A period with Lion’s Den and Dingle Dell, and later with Gertjie and Matimba didn’t suit her at all, but when she was introduced to Ike, life changed forever … for both of them. We’ll always fondly remember how clearly content they were with each other and how they were never far apart.
And now they are still together, back in the wild where they belong!
For security reasons, we don’t divulge the location of the reserve in which they now roam.
The release of Ike and Phillipa is in line with our ethos of releasing rehabilitated animals back into the wild. In all, six rhinos have been released since December 2018. For more information on previous releases see here.
The Gertjie and Matimba Story
The Lion’s Den and Dingle Dell Story