Nov 9, 2009

Totsiens Thabo

Thabo, our miracle White Rhino calf has finally been relocated to his new home!

The last time we spoke of Thabo to you he was suffering from prolonged, chronic constipation. He went for weeks and weeks without any bowel movements. Even the vet that we rely on for assistance with our rhino babies was completely baffled by Thabo’s situation… Thabo carried on quite cheerfully while we all stressed over his terrible ordeal.

After attempting all the tried and tested methods of treatment – to no avail - we started reaching our wits-end. The vet had one last form of medication that we could try… and then after that we would really be in the dark as to what to do next. It seemed that there was just no solution to this problem…

We persisted with the medication but day after day there were no signs that it was working. When one day Thabo decided to surprise his Rhino parent (who was watching over him) and produced a large, well formed stool. Seeming extremely proud of himself, Thabo gamboled away to play in the grass. Never... NEVER… have you ever seen people as excited about rhino poop as the people in the rehab centre were that day! Shouts and Hoots of joy went up as the news was spread. Finally the rocky path seemed to be almost at an end and after careful monitoring and continued application of medication Thabo made it in to the clear. He carried on with his daily routine completely unruffled by all the excitement going on around him.

Now that he was out of the woods we could all relax and sit back and enjoy watching him grow. And boy did he grow!!! At 4 months and 170kgs he could put a fair amount of force behind his nodule of a horn. He became more and more confident as the weeks ticked by and he started to become more assertive in his demands for food. Although he began to thump his human admirers more often than not his “rhino parents” continued to adore him and could see no wrong in their little grey “angel.” They took Thabo for runs around the garden which he loved more than anything else! (not counting his milk) Those short, creased grey legs could pick up a burst of speed in a short period of time and he often had people doubled over panting while he stood impatiently waiting for another lap around the grounds. He provided us with many a good chuckle when he would rush out of the clinic in the morning bursting to burn off some of his pent-up energy. If you have never before seen it, you would not believe that a rhino could skip and hop and spring around as gracefully as he.

Finally secure in the knowledge that Thabo was fit and healthy we began the search to find a home where Thabo could be settled and cared for to the standards that Moholoholo upholds. It did not take long until a suitable home was found in the form of Thula Thula Game Reserve in Zululand, KwaZulu Natal. Here he would eventually be released out onto the game reserve to wander freely around. For the time being Thabo would be watched over by his original “mommy” Elaine who will be with him for at least another year.

The time came too quickly for some (and I am sure not quick enough for his new family) to say “Totsiens” (Afrikaans for goodbye) to Thabo and for him to be collected and transported to this new home. Tears were shed as rhino mommies reluctantly waved goodbye as Thabo departed in his rather comfy looking crate.

We are glad to report that after being introduced to his “luxury accommodation” Thabo has settled down well and has won over the hearts of all that came into contact with him.

A very BIG thank-you goes out to the special people who gave up time and sleep to look after this special bundle of “happiness” we really do appreciate your great contributions!

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