BULAWAYO, Tuesday, November 1, 1966 — Four Natal white rhino arrived in the Matopos game park yesterday after a 30-hour, non-stop drive from the Umfolozi Game Park.
Two of them were dazed from drugs and another two were enraged at captivity. They were accompanied by Rhodesia and Natal game rangers and wardens who will bring another four white rhino for the Matopos game park next week.
First out of the crate was Harold, a 750lb bull calf. In his anxiety to run to the veld he took a wrong turn and plunged headlong into a 3ft ditch near the truck which carried him.
He brought his hind legs down to earth and squeezed himself out of the ditch before skulking off to the quiet bush.
The Countess, a 2 000lb white rhino cow, defied all efforts to raise her to her feet. Game rangers poured gallons of cold water over her, while others prodded her ears with sticks. They even tried to lift her with a large branch, but it was nearly two hours before she braced herself for a massive effort to straighten her legs. With a final grunt she meandered off into the wilds.
UDI, a two-tonne bull, broke parts of his crate before rangers let him out. And as the wardens ran for cover UDI swept off to investigate his new surroundings.
The last of the rhino, Rufus, whose transport costs were paid for by the Sunday Mail, zig zagged out of his crate.
“The M99 morphine drug affects individual rhinos differently”, said Mr John Tebbit, a regional warden, Western.
Rufus’ legs almost buckled under before he walked ponderously in his new surroundings. Mr John Hoole, warden at the Rhodes Matopos National park said he hoped some of the rhino would mate.