#WorldRhinoDay: 'Magnificent Seven' orphaned rhinos all grown up and thriving

2018-09-22 06:30 - Gabi Zietsman
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The fight for rhinos can be depressing at times, but there are still good stories around to spark hope for our world.

Like the Magnificent Seven at Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary (CFW), who has come of age after surviving the trauma of losing their mothers when they were all orphaned in 2015.

WATCH: How rhino orphans return to the wild in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi

Today, Annie, River, Tyson, Venus, Meha, Tank and Satara have become a tight-knit family that have been reintroduced to the 'wild' - an intensely protected reserve that surrounds the sanctuary. Here they get to do whatever they want, when they want, but still be safe from poachers.

According to the CFW prospectus, the orphanage was initially established on a 350ha property. It is currently expanding to a 4 500ha area, where no harm can come to the rhinos that CFW have rescued, rehabilitated and released. It costs them around R20 000 a month to look after a single rhino, but they manage with corporate sponsorship, donations and voluntourism. 

Since 2001, the sanctuary has cared, rehabilitated and released many rhinos caught in the crossfire of horn poaching, and is said to be the largest rhino orphanage in the world. 

PICS: Here's a cute rhino newborn to kick off your weekend right 

Two rhinos lying in mud

Venus and Meha taking a relaxing bath. (Photo: Konica Minolta South Africa)

Two rhinos grazing

Annie and River grazing. (Photo: Konica Minolta South Africa)

World Rhino Day

World Rhino Day on 22 September is dedicated to the fight for the species, and while the Department of Environmental Affairs noted there's been a decrease in rhino poaching compared to last year, there were still 508 rhinos poached between January and August in 2018.

There has also been an increase in poacher activity, ranging from sightings, poacher camps and incursions - a total of 1 873 incidents were recorded this year, compared to 1 702 in 2017.

CFW will commemorate this special day by honouring their Magnificent Seven and hosting a group of young children to teach them all about the rhino and how important they are.

“We are focusing on youth awareness and education. Not only will we be introducing the children to the famous ‘Magnificent Seven’, but to the other baby rhino as well,” says Dorota Ladosz from CFW.

“We hope that one day we can grow to a Magnificent 70, a Magnificent 700 and even a Magnificent 7 000, for our future generations. Where better to begin than with the children – as we all know, they are the future!”.

WATCH: Baby rhino wrestling with caretaker will give you hope again after Sudan's death 

Rhino lying down

River having a nap. (Photo: Konica Minolta South Africa)

Rhino eating grass

Satara having a snack. (Photo: Konica Minolta South Africa)

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