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VIDEO: The heart-warming story of Sabi Sand Nature Reserve’s rhino rescue

After his parents were cruelly poached, an African game reserve stepped in to reintegrate a baby rhino back to the wild.

Meet Mavic, an orphaned African white rhino.

Earlier this year, a poaching incident cruelly robbed Mavic of his parents, until Singita’s Sabi Sand Nature Reserve stepped in, having spotted the young rhino wandering alone for three days, growing weaker as he was unable to source his own food.

Using a series of drones to keep a careful watch overnight in an area prowled by hyena and lions, a rescue team swooped, tranquilised and collected Mavic at first light, taking him to an intensive care unit operated by African wildlife rehabilitation organisation, Care For Wild.

Mavic was rescued by Sabi Sand Nature Reserve and taken to a rehabilitation sanctuary.

There, Mavic was put onto an intravenous drip for rehydration and a milk supply every three hours until his condition stabilised. This initial process also involved applying a blindfold and ear plugs to reduce stress, which were gradually removed as Mavic settled in and associated the voices of his carers with milk and care.

Part of this initial comforting process involved playing music to help Mavic settle, with carers identifying his favourite song, to which he was most amenable, being ‘Riptide’ by Vance Joy.

Once he was well enough, Mavic began a desensitisation program which included learning to trust his carers further and to reintegrate with two older orphaned rhinos – Shiloh and Aquazi. Soon, the trio made a new home together in a protected sanctuary which will be home for the next three years.

Sabi Sand is a privately owned nature reserve located near Kruger National Park. The resort is known for frequent sightings of leopard, buffalo, hippopotamus and lions among other big game.

After a short time in intensive care, Mavic is now doing much better.

The resort is home to four lodges – Ebony Lodge, Ebony Villa, Castleton and Boulder Lodge, each offering a variety of homesteads and villas built around natural watering holes and plunge pools, all designed to help guests forge a connection with the surrounding wilderness.

Guests enjoy up to two game drives each day and fine fireside dining along with activities, depending on which lodge you’re in, such as tennis, stargazing and wine tasting.

Mavic’s story is central to a new promotional push by African ecotourism brand Singita designed to raise awareness of the plight of wildlife poaching across the continent.

Mavic has since made new friends and is learning new skills.

Guests staying at Singita's network of 15 game lodges and camps over four countries contribute to the Singita Lowveld Trust, the company's non-profit division which drives its conservation initiatives.

The Trust contributes to Care For Wild, the world’s largest rhino sanctuary, which works to rescue, rehabilitate, rewild and release rhino into protected natural habitats. The sanctuary also works with local communities to educate about the plight of rhinoceros species.


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Written by: Matt Lennon
Published: 5 December 2022

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