Manji arrived at Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary in October 2014 when his mother was killed by poachers in the Manyeleti area bordering the Kruger National Park. He was flown in by helicopter, still pink and no more than a few days old. The poachers had hacked him with a machete, and he had a deep wound above his eye. It was a miracle that he survived.
Manji was one of the youngest rhino the sanctuary has ever rehabilitated. Initially it was thought that Manji had brain damage because he would not stop moving in circles, both inside and outside the crate. It was also feared that his eyesight had been impaired.
He was operated on and spent the first few nights sleeping with his head on one of the animal managers’ chest. But Manji has made a full recovery! His wound has healed completely, his eyesight is fine and he has no brain damage and walks and runs as well as any other rhino.
Initially he shared an enclosure with a few other rhinos including his best friend Venus. Manji is fiercely protective of Venus, who has had to be carefully rehabilitated because of a wounded foot.
When Venus’ dressing was being changed, Manji would charge any of the rhinos who tried to venture near, even though he was a quarter of their size!
Manji is a brilliant bull in the making and currently weighs in at over 500kg. One can barely see the mark of the wound he once had above his eye.