Rocky the Rhino and Humani Anti Poaching

90 years ago, Humani Ranch, situated in the South East of Zimbabwe, was founded by James ‘Jimmy’ Whittall. Originally a cattle ranch, it now forms a key part of the Save Valley Conservancy and is home to one of the greatest diversities of wildlife in the world. For the highly protected species of wild dog, lion, elephant and black rhino it is nothing short of a lifeline and, under the care and protection of Humani and the surrounding ranches within the Conservancy, each of these species has thrived over the last thirty years.  Humani ranch is still run by the Whittall family who continue to do so with an extraordinary passion, commitment and deep understanding for both the wildlife and the surrounding communities.  


The covid pandemic – has been extrememly damaging to the wild life fauna and flora, our team of 30 anti poaching scoutslead by Guy Whittall and assisted by Zimparks are on the ground 24 hours a day – protecting all species from the Big 5 to the smallest 5.


On Tuesday 9th June, one of the patrolling anti-poaching units came upon a 9-day old black rhino calf that was stuck in a muddy puddle, exhausted and dehydrated.  The scouts got him out after getting stuck themselves! . He was given hydration and the decision made to leave him, as his mother was nearby and there was hope for them to reunite.  Normally, the policy of wildlife management is to let nature take its course but when dealing with protected species the approach switches to preservation at all costs.  The following morning, Shannon Clemence and his team the SSPU (special species protection unit)  found the little man and unfortunately his mother had not returned. Anne Whittall was called in to re-hydrate him and take him Home.

‘Rocky’, as he had now been named, Anne Whittall – a legend in her own right when it comes to fostering orphaned animals. Josh and Jacquie Mostert, the experienced wildlife vets were also on hand and over the next 24 hours they managed to stabilize Rocky and make sure he was strong enough ahead of the planned reintroduction to his mother.  The scouts continued to monitor the whereabouts of Rockys’ mum and, after 24 hours of rehydration and observation, the first attempt to reintroduce Rocky to his mum was carried out. Sadly this, and the subsequent other attempts, failed and the decision was made to bring Rocky back to Anne.


Rocky is now being monitored and supported 24 hours a day by Anne and the vets.  He has a long road ahead of him and is still very weak and traumatized.  Support from every angle has been incredible so far.  Whilst we have enough milk to get us through the next two months, there is still a need to cover his continuing expenses going forward.  These range from vet bills to the equipping and support of the anti-poaching scouts who will be providing him and all our animals with 24 -hour cover.  If you are able to donate any amount, no matter how small, every penny will count, and assist with Rocky and our never ending anti poaching work.


Many thanks from all of us on Humani x

Organizer and beneficiary

Hannah Whittall
Jack Stooks

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