The plight of the rhino is something that is known the world over with conservationists doing all that they can to ensure that this majestic animal survives the onslaught from poachers.
However, a particularly tricky rhino case forced conservationists to ask two vital questions: “should nature take its course” or “do we do all that we can to protect this endangered animal?”
Munu the black rhino was the very reason for this conundrum. In 2019, the Black Rhino was found wandering erratically in the Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Province. Spotting his weakness, lions were seen circling the rhino and were ready to pounce before the park‘s veterinary team stepped in to examine the situation. After darting Munu and taking him in, the team found that he was utterly blind.
A new conundrum arose. Putting him down seemed like the logical thing to do, but with so few Black Rhinos left in the world, it didn’t seem fitting. Black Rhinos are currently regarded as Critically Endangered and are on the IUCN‘s Red Data list with Munu being a particularly rare species – a South-western Black Rhino (there are only 254 left in the wild), as per the Shannon Elizabeth Foundation.
Thankfully, news of Munu‘s situation soon reached the ears of conservationist Brett Barlow who stepped in to intervene. Munu was whisked away to a secure location where he is now free to trot about and enjoy his last few days in peace. Despite being blind, Munu is a symbol of hope and tenacity and will continue to contribute to the gene pool of this dwindling species of rhino – something that would not have happened if he was not saved.
“We have to do all we can to save every single one. And so, Munu offers us a symbol of hope, a representation of what can be achieved through compassion and perseverance—the very bastions of Dr Player’s work,” said the Shannon Elizabeth Foundation.
Check out the video of Munu below:
For more information or to donate, visit the foundation‘s website.