It has been so heart-warming to witness the changes among our incredible crash of rhinos at HESC and to see them all going from strength to strength. Watching their unique personalities play out and the bonds between them developing is truly beautiful. One thing that unites them all is a continued improvement and growing comfort in themselves and their environments at HESC. They are a beloved part of our family and give us as much hope and inspiration as we have tried to give to them.

Please take a look below for a detailed update on our rhino family…


From the 1st of April, Esme has been weaned off milk. She is now a young woman. She is not at all taken aback by not getting a bottle anymore – as long as she can go out and play with Lammie on the HESC grounds, she’s happy. She is very well-behaved and by 6 pm she is back in her boma, ready for her nightly routine.

Gertjie and Matimba

They are still as inseparable as the day they met. Their close relationship is unbelievable to see. They can’t walk without the other one tagging along. Matimba is still the little brother in the relationship and hides behind Gertjie most of the time, while Gertjie plays the protector.

Olivia, Khulula, Nhlanhla and Lula

These four rhinos remain in the same roaming area and, except for Esme, they are still the youngest rhinos at HESC. They all continue to keep close to one another. If they do drift off, they tend to split into pairs – with OIlivia and Khulula together as one couple, and Nhlanhla and his girlfriend, Lula as another. They receive feedings of Teff and lucern twice daily, though they seem to prefer sniffing out and munching on the lucern most.

Ike and Phillipha

Ike and Phillipha have been crazy-in-love from the first sight. They are glued to each other. Phillipha is the brave one, which is understandable since Ike is the one who has experienced the most suffering in life. We are extremely impressed with Ike’s progress, and especially with his horn slowly growing back. At one point, we didn’t think he would be able to grow a horn again. He is doing very well and his relationship with Phillipha is helping immensely, as she encourages him to trust us and see that we are only there to help. At the beginning of his recovery, we would not see Ike for days as he would hide away in fear. So this development is great news!

Stompie and Balu

Stompie and Balu were recently moved over to a new roaming area. At first, they were confused by this and tried going back to their original roaming grounds. But once they realised that they had a new dam and that there were fun new smells and sights to explore, they started to feel more at home. They have such a brotherly bond and aren’t seen without each other. Stompie is doing well and is not at all bothered by his short “stompie” tail. He also loves playing the older brother role to Balu – not that Balu needs it since he has become much braver and stronger and is no longer afraid of a challenge.

Yours in Conservation
The HESC and WCT Team