Elephant Calf Arrives at Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary

Care for Wild recently received a distressed call to assist in the emergency treatment and care for a 4-month-old elephant calf mutilated in a snare. The brutal wire had cut deeply around her head and painfully sliced through the corners of her mouth and into her cheeks. The calf’s herd was nowhere to be found. She was bleeding extensively but under the careful veterinary attention of Dr Albertus Coetzee of West Acres Animal Hospital, the young calf was stabilized and transferred to the sanctuary.

As with orphaned rhino care, neonatal elephant care and nutrition is a specialized field. Petronel and the Care for Wild team were joined by Adine Roode and the HERD (Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation & Development) team so that they could work together to offer this baby elephant the best care possible.  To secure her future and ensure that she can be with other elephants, our little elephant baby has joined the HERD program and having now arrived safely at their facility, will continue her rehabilitation under their care.

Throughout our many years of rescue, we have formed trusting and heartfelt relationships with many professional bodies in the joint fight to save rhinos which helped to save the life of this precious elephant calf. A very special thank you to the MTPA team Ertjies Rohm, Chris Hobkirk, and Gait Jan Sterk, who without hesitation will rush to the aid of any animal in need.


Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary assists with Leopard Rescue

Early this year, law enforcement officials confiscated two very small baby Leopard cubs who were being kept illegally. As Care for Wild is a registered wildlife rehabilitation centre with permits to accept all wildlife in need of care, the MTPA brought the cubs into our care.

We estimated the cubs to be around three weeks old. Severely dehydrated and weak, Dr Albertus Coetzee placed the cubs on I/V fluids for 24 hours.

Both, brother and sister, have taken to their bottles and get very excited at every milk feed. They are beginning to take solids and are gaining weight nicely. The cubs are also receiving pasty recovery food to help build their strength.

The two cubs now have more energy and are fast becoming the incredibly cheeky and mischievous baby leopards that they should be.

Care for Wild is currently in talks with relevant organisations to ensure that these cubs enter an appropriate rehabilitation program and do not remain in captivity.

Leopard Rescue, Relocation and Release

Human/wildlife conflict is prevalent in South Africa. As part of a collaborative effort with MTPA to prove that leopards can be successfully relocated, Care for Wild has funded the tracking collar for an adult male leopard.

The leopard is an apex predator, and just like the rhino, they are a keystone species meaning that their presence or absence in the environment has an enormous and direct impact on the rest of the eco-system.

The protection of this species is essential in managing and maintaining healthy eco-systems for conservation initiatives. This particular leopard was snared but his injuries have now healed and the leopard has been successfully relocated and released.


Exciting Reproductive Developments at Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary

Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary has again partnered with Rhino Repro, the specialists in rhino reproduction and health, to give our rehabilitated and released orphans the best possible chance at reproducing. Following behavioural concerns and brewing reproductive complications with some of the older orphans, Dr Morne de la Ray, Dr Hendrick Hansen, and Dr Ferreira du Plessis joined the CFW team to begin a programme that supports successful breeding, enabling Timbi, Olive and Storm to secure the future of their species through the next generation.

Saving rhinos doesn’t just involve rescue and rehabilitation. Saving rhinos means being able to also secure the future of the species. We will keep you updated on the progress of the programme.

Benjamin and Dianna Update

Baby Benjamin arrived at Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary three months ago. The youngest and smallest orphan at the sanctuary, Benjamin has settled and adapted beautifully to his new surroundings. Gentle natured, kind to fellow orphans and an all-round beautiful soul. He now weighs 252kg’s and is fast becoming a chubby little rhino!

Benjamin played a vital role in helping older orphan Dianna settle into life at the sanctuary. Dianna’s personality has become more and more true. She is playful, however, a little bit too big to play with her caregivers. She has come such a long way and is developing into such an amazing animal. We are very proud of her!

Swazi Update

Swazi is just under a year old, and just like all babies, Swazi is beginning to explore the world. Baby Black rhinos use their hooked upper lip to investigate their surroundings which also helps them to perfect their precision skills when using their agile lip to pull leaves from branches. Little Swazi loves playing with sticks, picking them up with her lip and rolling them around before chewing the sticks.

Swazi’s caregiver walks with her in the veldt daily to make sure that she can browse and receive the correct nutritional requirements for a growing baby rhino. Swazi loves her walks and loves her caregiver very much and is growing into a strong and healthy rhino.


Re-introduction back into the wild

Heavy rains in November saw the veldt turn green within a few weeks and luscious fresh grazing became available. We massively reduced the amount of supplementary feeding we were putting out. (Teff bales and Lucerne).

Rhinos spread out all over the IPZ and for several weeks the rhinos and other wildlife enjoyed the lush new grazing.

A flyover in the helicopter identified that the rhinos and other animals were enjoying the grazing too much and were nearly overgrazing the veldt. We decided to bring out additional food again. Veldt management is an important part of running the Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary. We can only have healthy animals if the ecosystem is healthy.

The rhinos were enjoying the new shoots so much that initially, they refused even Lucerne! Eventually, they began to eat the supplementary food again which will allow the veldt time to recover.

The high temperatures and heavy rainfall have seen massive growth in the tick populations on the rhinos. We are monitoring them carefully as tick-related illnesses at this critical time of year can be very dangerous. The rainfall is much needed and proving to be a big hit with the rhinos as now all their mud baths are full! The rain makes them very playful! Even if they are over a ton!



Orphaned Rhino Lilli thrives in the IPZ

Orphaned rhino Lilli is the youngest rhino to have been released into the Intensive Protection Zone (IPZ). At just two years old she is the smallest of the rhinos roaming the protected veldt. Lilli stays close to her crash friends Grey and Spirit but her best buddy is fellow orphan Jemu.

These young orphans often enjoy a deep and squishy mud wallow. Mud is very important; it protects their skin from the sun, helps regulate body temperature and acts as protection against ticks and other biting parasites. Wallowing is one of the key behavioural markers for a happy rhino!

Expansion of Intensive Protection Zone (IPZ)

Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary continue to prepare and secure the extension of the Intensive Protection Zone. The expansion of the protected site will allow the released rhinos increased territory as well as promoting healthy social and reproductive behaviour.

2020 is going to be such an important and exciting year for Care for Wild and we are so happy that we can embark on these amazing opportunities with you by our side.

K-9 Unit – Reaper the Anti-Poaching Canine

Reaper continues his excellent work in the K9 unit. Reaper’s handler has invested a lot of time into training. Apprehension skills are fantastic. In training exercises, Reaper and Alpha are a formidable and terrifying force!

Off duty, Reaper loves belly rubs and washes and brushes from the volunteers!

Care for Wild Community Garden Project

Our local community is part of the Care for Wild family working together for the conservation of our precious rhinos and our heritage. Recently, staff and volunteers joined the community to learn more about the vegetable garden initiative that is promoting sustainable living through conservation. As well as an educational experience for our volunteers.

We are pleased to report that the vegetable garden is thriving after the recent rains and the first signs of abundant crops is heart warming and inspiring to all.


Victory for Community Football Club Rhino United

Some months ago, Care for Wild initiated a new project which offers the local community the opportunity to create a soccer team. After weeks of practice, the CFW soccer team played their very first match and won!

Special thanks to Baby Rhino Rescue for providing Rhino United Football club with their first uniform. Such a special time for the team!

Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary aims to build a clinic for adults and children at the soccer pitch. If anyone is interested in getting involved with this project, please email

Lomshiyo Community Project

Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary recently launched the Lomshiyo Community Project. This project aims to develop 100ha of Macadamia Trees (Nuts), Avocados, Citrus and Vegetable Production.

We are pleased to announce that the project is well on its way; we have raised 174 Macadamia Tress thus far. Our goal, with your help, is to plant 2000 Macadamia Trees to complete phase one of the project. You can also become part of this exciting project by sponsoring a tree for only $10 USD (ZAR150.00)!

Please click on the link to help us complete phase one

Upcoming event: 23 April 2020 – UK fundraising event

To all our UK supporters, CFW has partnered with Anna and Darren Gough who will be hosting an informal day of golf and an evening of entertainment at the exclusive Grove Hotel in Watford.

Please email for more information on the event.


Ongoing sponsorships of individual Rhinos, Anti-Poaching Canines, and Community Development projects

Trac N4, Simone Lagrave, Ma Vie Investments, Kathryn Mitchell, Maveshree Venter, Chemstrat Industrial CC, Valcora Sarl, Pepperl+Fuch, Sirius Motor Corp, Spirit Wildlife Fund, Molly Young, PARCA Inc, Ashley Durbin, James Millis Jnr, Konika Minolta, Lorna Davies.

Monica and Michelle Burkard, Nina Kubicek, Black Wattle Colliery (Pty) Ltd, Glencore SA and Virgin Unite

December 2019/January 2020 Donors

Investec Rhino Lifeline and staff, Baby Rhino Rescue, Chazelle Keller, Anne Smyth, Dirk Binneman, Raising Rhino Rands & supporters, Sundarar Group, Sabi Valley Coffee Initiative (SVCI) – John Morgan, NebuGold, Charlotte Viuff, Elevate, Art of Time, Oliver Dagois, Dream Africa, Hublot SA, Empowers Africa, Sten Morgan, Facebook birthday fundraisers and everyone else who continues to contribute towards this worthy course via the Rhino Grocery Market and online platforms.

Wish list Items

Cornell Grobler and the Fochville community, F10 – Health & Hygiene (Pty) Ltd, Shikar Rambiritch and Firishta Parsoo, Sean and Mary – Ann Brown, Alexandra Mattisson, Kotsedi Medical, and ER24.


USA board: Jim and Staci Roth

Phone:      +1 805-484-7267
Cell:         +1 213-713-4099

UK Trustees: Bill Barber and Dave Lawrence

Contact details:

Bill Barber
Cell: +44 798 508 6908
David Lawrence
Cell: +44 7585 952205