We are happy to report that Ike is safe and sound, and is already exploring his new space within his 15 hectare enclosure in the Rescued Rhinos @ HESC Sanctuary.
The team from Saving the Survivors and Pilanesberg National Park arrived at HESC at about 20:05 last night. The offloading process was quick, and took no more than 15 minutes thanks to the collective effort of all involved, and the exceptional organisation of the relocation process.
Ike was understandably unsettled when he emerged, and just quickly ran off into the bushes. Perry and Steven had accompanied Ike from Pilanesberg, and explained that he is not used to lights at night (he was only treated during daylight hours). Perry also explained that Ike is short for Ikanyega which means ‘Trust’ in Setswana.
Our team was out tracking his movements this morning. While Ike is keeping himself well hidden (his enclosure is very large, and has a lot of very dense natural foliage), his spoor (tracks) indicate that he has covered good ground. He has also eaten from the lucerne left for him, and quenched his thirst at the waterhole. It also appears that he has been in contact with the ladies ‘next door’, if the four sets of tracks in close proximity to one another are anything to go by. Although he is currently being kept separate, the view is to eventually release him into the other survivors’ enclosure.
Steven and Perry brought some of Ike’s dung from Pilanesberg in an effort to make him feel more ‘at home’. Recent studies in Botswana have supported this as being positive for the acclimatisation process of rhinos released into new environments.
Thanks to all involved in his relocation. We are honoured to have the opportunity of providing a safe haven for another brave rhino survivor.
We will keep you posted with pertinent updates.