About the Author

Chris Taylor

Ranger

Chris was born and raised in the Kwa-Zulu/Natal Midlands where his family inspired his early passion for the natural world. Exploring Southern Africa as he grew up, this passion was allowed to develop and his curiosity to expand. After high school, Chris spent ...

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27 Comments

on Operation Rhino

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

This is a lovely blog Chris. Rhino and the fight against poaching lie very close to my heart. We’ve got to make people aware of the plight our rhino’s are in. We do not wabt a situation again where there are no rhino left in the greater Kruger. Next time there might not be any left in Hluluwe-Mfolozi to buildt the population up in Kruger. We’ve all got to do our bit to help.

Chris Taylor
Ranger

Thanks Marinda. I agree, we must create awareness through education about the value of wildlife and wilderness areas like Greater Kruger National Park so as to protect animals like the rhino.

Dawn Phillips
Explorer

I am acutely aware of the plight of rhino, so I filled with tears of joy when we came across rhino several times during our stay at Londolozi last year. Absolutely magical.

Chris Taylor
Ranger

I can relate to that feeling Dawn! Hopefully you’ll be back soon to see more.

Dave Mills
Explorer

Nice article, Chris. Thanks.

Chris Taylor
Ranger

Thanks Dave!

Laura Eberly
Digital Ranger

Inspirational, hopefully the success continues with everyone’s hard work! The poaching is one of the darkest testaments of the human race, unfathomable to so many of us!

Chris Taylor
Ranger

I agree Laura. Thanks to the efforts of those many involved, we are lucky to have a strong, protected population of rhino at Londolozi and throughout the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

Joan Schmiidt
Explorer

Congrats on being a part OPERATION RHINO we were blessed to see these magnificent beasts on our visit in October

Chris Taylor
Ranger

I’m glad you got to experience that Joan! Always amazing seeing them.

Victoria Auchincloss
Digital Ranger

What a wonderful history story. The first year we came to Londolozi we saw a mother rhino with young baby who was adorable. He was so happy, jumping and pogo sticking around his mother as she moved thru the bush. Well done to all who are working so hard to help preserve these animals and all the others. Victoria

Chris Taylor
Ranger

That sounds like an incredible sighting Victoria! The young rhinos are often very playful which provides great entertainment for us.

Vin Beni
Senior Digital Ranger

Our rhino sightings have been very fulfilling, particularly one where we saw a very young calf. It actually was very playful with its mom.

Chris Taylor
Ranger

Yes, the young calves can be very entertaining, Vin! Always a special sighting when you see one.

Denise Vouri
Master Tracker

Beautifully written Chris. The plight of the rhino and other endangered species is something we as humans need to take seriously, and fortunately it seems the lower Southern African countries have banded together to establish fundraising groups. As a result of visiting game reserves since 1986 I’m quite invested into contributing to and supporting these various organizations. However, the problem is those who have never encountered animals in their natural habitat have no interest in saving an animal they’ve never witnessed, save maybe in a zoo. There’s a non-belief that any animal would become endangered or extinct as you could always find one in a zoo somewhere in the world. That’s reality. The answer to make more people aware of the plight of endangered species- I don’t know save for more documentaries and marketing. Fortunately the Sabi Sand Reserve has not lost any rhinos in the past few years so this is a positive step in their population growth.

Chris Taylor
Ranger

Thanks Denise. And thank you for being a long standing supporter of these organizations. The plight of the rhinos, particularly in Sabi Sand Game Reserve has improved in recent years and we can only hope that the momentum spreads further across the continent with support of more people.

Ian Hall
Senior Digital Ranger

The first time I saw a Rhino in South Africa was about fifteen years ago I was sternly told off by the ranger (not at Londolozi) as I stood up in amazement. It was not far from Hluhuwe Umfolozi, whilst I suspect I knew far less about driving and animals than he did, I strongly suspect he did not know how lucky he was to see them on a daily basis.

Chris Taylor
Ranger

That’s very true Ian, working in an environment that allows us to see these animals on a daily basis must not be taken for granted.

Lachlan Fetterplace
Digital Ranger

Very interesting blog…and great to hear such positive news. It surprises me that Hluhluwe-Umfolozi has 4000 excess White rhinos able to be relocated. Do you know what the total population there was at the time?

Chris Taylor
Ranger

I haven’t been able to find a reliable source on what the rhino population was at the time but I have no doubt it was strong. A good habitat for both black and white rhino as well as early and effective protection allowed them to flourish there.

Leonie De Young
Explorer

A great blog Chris. It is truly heartwarming to read about the increase in the populations of both white and black rhino. If only there was some way of educating the Asian men about the nonsense of medicine, etc. there would be no issues – hopefully. Thanks for sharing with us.

Chris Taylor
Ranger

Thanks Leonie. You’re right, the key lies in education of the consumers.

Gloria Brislin
Explorer

What an inspiring post in this day of nothing but bad news around us. Maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Chris Taylor
Ranger

Thanks Gloria. Yes, a lot of positivity can be drawn from stories like this.

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

Zululand Wilderness: Shadow and Soul by Ian Player is one of my all-time favourite books, as was his biography Into the River of Life. These two books had such a profound impact on my life unmatched by any other books that I can remember reading. I really wish that I had had the chance to meet Ian Player or Maqubu Ntombela, both of those men have inspired so much. However, I was able to go on a 5-day trail with the Wilderness Leadership School in 2015 to experience the incredible legacy he left behind and what he helped save.

Chris Taylor
Ranger

I’m glad to hear that you have been inspired by these people Callum, as have I. I was lucky enough to have met Ian Player when I was very young and would be interested in reading those books you mentioned.

Wendy Macnicol
Explorer

Wonderful and interesting story, Chris. Thank you so much. We were chased once in a Landrover for 2.2 kms by a family of White Rhinos once. On this particular drive we had seen a number of White Rhinos and therefore drove slowly past a Male, Female and biggish Youngster as we were looking for Warthogs. Goodness knows what sparked off the chase, but we soon became aware of the big Male looking like an approaching train engine, just behind came Mom and behind her the Youngster who came bouncing along for fun! We had a look at the Landrover’s speedometer and at one point they were gaining on us and the speedometer read 43 kms/hr. It was an eye opener for us and we were very relieved when all 3 Rhinos decided to stop. It was a hot day and they had enjoyed their fun while it lasted. Two of our friends with us were looking like wet rags by this time. They were genuine Townies and had never been in the Bush before. ….. It was their first ever game drive! To our surprise they came on further game drives after this and thoroughly enjoyed themselves! Very brave of them, we thought. Wendy M

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