Ringo the rhino (named in honour of Ringo Starr) is a baby southern white rhino at Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy. You can tell he is a white rhino because of his square lips meaning he is a grazer; black rhinos have pointed lips meaning they are browsers.
Little Ringo is now three months old. Ol Pejeta adopted him when his mother rejected him at just 2 weeks because he was sick. When Ringo arrived he only weighed around 30 kg. He now he weighs a healthy 80-100 kg, after lots of care from the rangers at Ol Pejeta.
Ringo needs constant attention. Every four hours he is fed six pints of milk and when he has finished feeding the rangers take him out for walks so he can learn about his habitat and adapt to his environment. It is hoped that he will start to graze on these outings and learn how to find food and feed himself.
It’s hard work caring for a little rhino and to ensure Ringo’s safety he is looked after 24 hours a day. In the day they take him for a run or entertain him with games and during the night a ranger sleeps with him in a stable. He will need constant support from the rangers until his release into the wild when he is four years old, at this age he will be ready to join the others and start breeding.
Ol Pejeta are leaders in rhino conservation in East Africa and the conservancy is home to three of the world’s last remaining northern white rhino and a sanctuary for over 105 endangered black rhino. The rangers are highly trained and know exactly how best to protect and care for all the animals under their care. The three northern white rhinos are at great risk and they are brought inside a stable to sleep for their protection.
There has been a dramatic increase in rhino poaching in the last few years and the number of rhinos killed for their horn has never been higher. If it continues at this rate, the number of deaths will overtake births and push the rhino closer to extinction.
It is hard to believe that rhinos could become extinct in our lifetime. World of Animals magazine gives 10% of profits to Ol Pejeta to help secure a future for rhinos like Ringo. Help fight poaching by ordering a copy of the magazine here, or downloading a digital copy here.
Image from www.flickr.com/photos/stuutje