Thandi the rhino will need no introduction to many. She is one of the most famous rhinos in the world having lived through a horrific poaching attack on 2nd March 2012, but miraculously she survived against all the odds.
Thandi’s powers of recovery, strength of character and amazing will to live have inspired people from all around the world to get involved in rhino conservation, whether that is by making a donation to help keep rhinos safe, or as was the case with our very own CEO, Simon Jones, to set up a charity dedicated to protecting these iconic animals.
Today we have the latest chapter of inspiration from Thandi – news of her fourth calf.
This miracle bundle of joy, a little boy, is happy news at just the time when the whole world is in need of something to smile about.
“The world is going through the most difficult times of a generation with the COVID-19 pandemic, but once again Thandi has shown us all that no matter what hardships we are facing, life is worth fighting for and that there will be better times ahead.”
Founder and CEO
Thandi’s latest calf was discovered by Brendon Jennings, a senior guide at Kariega Game Reserve on the evening of 4th January 2021 and came as a complete surprise. It is very difficult to tell whether a rhino is pregnant unless we carry out a pregnancy test, which involves darting the rhino to put her under sedation and therefore not something we would do unless we needed to carry out another veterinary procedure.
For all of her three previous calves Thandi took herself away to hide in the thick African bush where she gave birth and then kept the calf hidden for another one to two weeks. This is typical rhino behaviour. Thandi gave birth to her third calf Mthetho in 2019.
On this occasion however Thandi broke with tradition and appears to have given birth out in the open. The photos on this page were taken when the new arrival was just one to two hours old and we think you’ll agree, he is extremely cute!
Thandi recovered from the attack in 2012 that left her laying in pools of blood, her face quite literally hacked off, to living a normal rhino life in the wild today. She is now the proud mum of four young rhinos and even became a grandmother for the first time at the end of 2020 when Thembi, her first born, gave birth to a rhino calf of her own – a boy named Umkhosi. Read the story of Thembi’s birth in 2015, three years after the Thandi poaching incident, here.
Thandi's new calf has been named siya
We are delighted to let you know that the guides at Kariega Game Reserve have chosen to name Thandi's fourth calf Siya. He is named after South Africa Springbok rugby captain Siyamthanda Kolisi (who was also born in the Eastern Cape region).
"That is amazing and I would definitely love to meet Siya" said Kolisi, when told of the new calf’s name.
In the meantime, you have the opportunity to help keep Thandi’s calf and the rest of her family safe by adopting them. Your adoption will help provide critical anti-poaching patrols operational at a time when our conservation projects face severe financial pressures due to a loss of tourism income as a result of COVID restrictions.
We must not let Thandi and her growing family down by dropping our guard now and we thank you in advance for your support.
Watch Exclusive Footage of Thandi's new calf
Taken when he was just an hour old
Photos courtesy of Brendon Jennings and Kariega Game Reserve. Video courtesy of Kariega Game Reserve