This is rhino conservation at its best! This particular White Rhino bull was wounded by a heavy caliber bullet from a poachers rifle at the Somkhanda Game Reserve in KwaZulu Natal, but has thankfully recovered well from his ordeal.
Closely monitored, the wound healed well without veterinary intervention. It was however decided that for the rhino's safety, he should be de-horned and a radio-tacking collar should be fitted to his hind leg. Dr Mike Toft from Kifaru Wildlife Veterinary Services carried out the proceedures and also checked and treated the bullet wound that can be seen high on his left-hand side. The Somkhanda Rhino Monitors and the highly efficient anti-poaching unit assisted with the capture process, first helping track the rhino and then providing protection during the operation. The rhino bull is now closely monitored and protected in the community owned reserve that is managed by the Wildlands Conservation Trust.
This conservation photography project is carried out in partnership with the Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA) that provides support, networks and representation for game rangers across Africa. This conservation photography project will use rangers as the “lead characters” to highlight the issues faced by conservationists and showcase opportunities for improved support of rangers in the future. Positive and targeted messages will be communicated that emphasise the critical role that rangers play in African conservation in ensuring that the continent’s natural heritage is preserved for the benefit of future generations. Support Africa’s Rangers by supporting the GRAA.
Peter Chadwick is a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) whose mission is to further environmental and cultural conservation through photography. The iLCP’s goal is to use the art of high-quality photography to encourage people to take action in support of tangible and meaningful conservation measures.
Visit African Conservation Photography for a full gallery of Ranger images.