Yesterday afternoon I had a great experience. I did not have a sunset drive which is quite uncommon as our occupancy rate here at Mabalingwe is very high at a 94%. So, when you get an afternoon off you take full advantage of it. I decided to go for a drive with the maintenance manager as he has been on the reserve for 2 years now and he hadn’t seen the rhinos for the last 5 months. I promised him as soon as I get an early afternoon I will take him on a drive to go look for them.
As I was driving in the western part of the reserve I came across a Crash of Rhino. I noticed that one of the calves was not wandering with its mother which she had been roaming with for the last 3 years. I had a feeling the cow presumably moved away from her to give birth, but I was not 100% sure about this fact.
As we were moving through the plains area which is heavily encroached with Sickle bush and Grewia, I noticed a single cow moving towards the watering hole. When she was moving I heard something moving in the bushes next to her. The next moment took me by surprise as a small calf emerged from the bushes. I assumed the calf was not older than 3 or 4 days, and this was the sighting I had been waiting for over the last 3 years.
The cow and the calf were approaching the watering hole with heavy precaution with the calf not leaving the mother’s side. The calf was leading the cow, and I was amazed that how the natural instinct of the calf was able to find the watering hole as if it had been there before.
When they got to the watering hole I got a glimpse of the cuteness overload of this little female. I could clearly see how proud the Mom was of her NEW ADDITION to the Wildlife on the reserve.
We named the little cow New Addition, and we hope that she will strive and become as big and as strong a female that will also be able to live in a safe protected environment, where she one day can give birth to a Second Addition.