A Rhino Love Story

It’s Valentine’s Day and the thing we are most in love with at the moment is a very sweet black rhino calf named Zaituni (Kiswahili for Olive).  Zaituni actually came to us in late November, after having been rescued by Tanzania National Parks, when she was found without her mother.

Ross Couper

Zaituni, who is now approximately eight months old, represents so much about conservation: the importance of partnerships and the ability for animals and projects to thrive when people and organizations come together; the fact that for certain species or places that you have to do everything in your power to save them; and the love that has to be there in order to achieve success.

Bernie Mshana

We asked Conservation Manager Matt Perry and project lead Madelein Perry to share some words about Zaituni, what she means to the team here and for conservation partnerships:

“Zaituni’s success story has not only been due to her irrefutably strong character and her undeniable will to survive but also to the incredible, dedicated team of her four Tanzanian caretakers, who have looked after her round the clock since her arrival in November. 

This team have since been by her side every step of the way and have played no small part in her road to recovery. As surrogate mothers (note that all caretakers are men), the team have been committed and are entirely devoted with their time and have celebrated every one of her recovery milestones, something that has been absolutely heartwarming to witness. 

It is truly apparent that this is no normal job for the team, but rather a true love and passion to see this baby black rhino survive and to go on and contribute to her critically endangered species. 

Baragi, Joseph, Wambura and Bukare should all be extremely proud of what has been accomplished thus far, this is history in the making! 

A big thank you to our Tanzanian Government partners who have 100% supported efforts to rehabilitate this young rhino in the hope that she can one day be released back into the wild. Lastly, a big thank you to the team from Care for Wild in South Africa who’s knowledge and expertise have been critical to this rehabilitation project.”

Ross Couper

While the fate of Zaituni’s mother is unknown, the Grumeti Fund, in close partnership with TANAPA, TAWA and TAWIRI are endlessly committed to ensuring that she has the best chance possible at being an integral part of the Serengeti’s black rhino population.  We want to thank the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism for entrusting us with this little but enormously important life.

Please consider being a part of Zaituni’s success story and donate here: www.grumetifund.org/donate