Aquila private Game Reserve, has just taken delivery of an 8 year old rhino bull. After the horrific poaching incident in 2011, the reserves rhino herd were attacked and three rhino where targeted, one was saved, another was brutally killed and the third rhino, known affectionately as Absa, fought bravely for 5 days before succumbing to his gruesome injuries. The poaching incident left Aquila with no male rhino to continue the breeding progression which is why the arrival of the new bull is so significant not only for the rhino population in the Western Cape but for the fight for rhino conservation in general.
Owner Searl Derman is proud to have been able to reintroduce a male in the hopes of creating a breeding pair at Aquila. “Aquila continues to fight against the scourge of rhino poaching and we are committed in our efforts to protect the rhino that have been entrusted to us. The loss of our male rhinos in 2011 was tragic and was a set-back in our plan to increasing the rhino population close to Cape Town, we are now back on track.”
The rhino, Absa, who was lost in the poaching incident was the first rhino to be reintroduced to the Western Cape in over 250 years and his loss was felt around the world. The poaching incident on Aquila led to the founding of the Saving Private Rhino Initiative which continues to train staff from private reserves with rhino or elephant in their care in the tactics of anti-poaching at no charge.
In addition to the rhino, Aquila will shortly be taking delivery of game to add to the existing herds. With an investment of R6 million the reserve will soon be welcoming an additional large herd of buffalo, giraffe, kudu and red hartebeest.
The new rhino bull was purchased from the Limpopo area after his owners discovered signs of the rhino being tracked. He was loaded and transported with great haste with his protection in mind. Aquila have thanked Cape Nature Conservation for granting the necessary permits in time to move the bull to safety.
Although the new rhino bull had big footprints to fill, he is off to a good start and within hours of release on Aquila has already made first contact with the existing rhino herd.