Khanya arrived by helicopter on the 3rd May 2017; she was just 6 months old. Her Mom had been murdered by poachers for her horn leaving Khanya alone and afraid for three days before rescuers found her. At last, Section Ranger of the Kruger National Park, Albert Smith found the scared calf and with the help of Dr Louis van Schalkvyk, they flew her to the sanctuary.
Khanya took her first bottle very quickly but was also placed on a drip due to her high level of dehydration. Staff also hand-picked bunches of fresh green grass for Khanya to enjoy between her regular milk feeds. Three days after her arrival, staff removed Khanya’s blindfold. She was curiously calm when she finally saw the hands and faces that fed her. Just a few days later, Khanya had her first weigh-in and showed off her big rhino weight of 206kg!
A month after Khanya’s arrival saw the admission of another orphaned calf who would later be named Rose. The two babies became instant friends. They remained in the ICU for another month until Rubybelle arrived and the inseparable duo became an inseparable trio. Fern would later join the crash, completing the new rhino family.
The four orphans did very well through their rehabilitation, growing healthily each week. They quickly became the naughtiest crash; breaking feeding stations, doors and chasing the caregivers! Khanya, the oldest and biggest, remained the leader of the group. Her unique excessive skin rolls making her easy to identify amongst the chaos that her and her friends created.
At the beginning of 2019 a four year old male rhino named Zac returned from the Intensive Protection Zone (IPZ) having been released a few weeks earlier. Zac was not quite ready for the big wide world just yet and so he joined Khanya’s group, bringing their total to five.
At the end of 2019, Zac, Khanya, Rose, Rubybelle and Fern were released into their own IPZ. The five continue to be closely monitored by staff as they progress through the rewilding phase in preparation for their later release.