Rhino Collaring: seven black rhinos in one weekend!

Last weekend we fitted seven of our adult and sub-adult rhinos with ankle collars. Our two adult white rhino, Ntombi and Matopos; mother and daughter black rhino, Shanu and Tafika; Tafara, and of course, Gomo (more on them later!).

Our other female adult black rhino, Kamchacha, is nursing little Khanya, so she was not darted, as  the anaesthetic and other medicines could have passed through into her milk, potentially affecting her calf.

Once the rhinos had been darted, and whilst under anaesthetic, they were given a health check by our experienced wildlife veterinarians, and Tafara was also ear notched, which is a government requirement for all Zimbabwe's rhinos. Volunteers assisted the vets during each operation by monitoring the rhino's vital statistics and taking measurements.

The darting was going well, and then it came to Gomo. Gomo, well, Gomo decided to run. So off we went up in the helicopter to practice aerial darting. Once we had Gomo (can you spot the needle in his ample behind?), his operation was actually very quick and easy.

Tafara was also a runner, cantering at full speed from the feeding boma, almost to the reserve gate! Again, once she was down her operation was very straightforward. She was also ear notched, and given her own unique identifying marks. This doesn't hurt the rhinos - think of it as a larger ear piercing.

Collaring the rhinos is so important from both a security and a research point of view. Volunteers will be monitoring the newly collared rhinos, to see if there are any changes in behaviour after having the collars fitted.

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Rhino research, baby rhino monitoring and 15% off all projects until the end of November! Now is the perfect time to volunteer! Email us to find out more!