The Chronicle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

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.

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