Farewell To Man’s Lover…
A visit to Khama Rhino Sanctuary was not complete without the sight of ‘Man’s Lover’ whose jovialness swept the feet of many away. With hearts left throbbing and eyes with tears, we can only appreciate the time we spent with him. Popularly known as Noddy (naughty character), the black rhino which was globally loved passed away on the 30th October 2017.
One can only imagine but not come to terms with the effects this great forfeit has had on both the Sanctuary and its clients. Noddy’s characteristics will never match that of any ordinary black rhino. Having been hand raised; bottle fed because his mother was sadly lost to poaching, the ever energetic Noddy had to be released into the wilderness as he grew up to try to make him adapt to the life of animals. This seemed to bear no fruits as his friendliness and attachment to the human nature could not be surpassed.
Noddy indeed made memories in his life time. Like any other black rhino, he was supposed to have a defensive nature to help him in fighting battles. Instead of fighting other rhinos, Noddy would be seen seeking refuge in humans who he was greatly attached to. Being often stitched as if tattoos were spread across his body from the lost battles, Noddy was still continually accustomed to rubbing against surface in the quest to seek attention from the human race. His attention seeking often led to him breaking windows of objects in or next to his favourite hangout spots. Among his favourites chilling spot were the Sanctuary’s restaurant including the swimming pool, the Rangers’ camp and the environmental education centre. This was because human settlements formed part of his territory.
Man’s Lover was mostly spotted with other rhinos during the mating period. Seen lying down for a while, it sent signals that he was not well. During his last winter, Noddy was observed to be losing weight which was thought to be due to the season as there was a reduction in grazing. As the evergreen cloth covered Mother Nature, hope was revived that he would gain weight only to have shattered dreams in the sunset. Black Rhino’s life span is said to be 38 years and he lived for about 27 years in an incredible manner.
Our conservation team’s continuous monitoring led to the conclusion of the intervention of a Veterinary Surgeon. His death occurred in one of his migratory routes where one would not miss him on any given day. It is during the post mortem results to establish reasons for his death that our icon was said to have suffered a kidney failure which was age related. With a view of black rhino’s statistics in Africa including the death of Noddy, we can only be hopeful that conservation settlements will up their game by increasing these rare species.
With the love that the Sanctuary had and still has on Man’s Lover, preparations will soon kick start to have his image erected right at his death place. This will be in honour and remembrance of OUR ICON who served us well. Go well NODDY…. We shall surely miss you. With over 230 bird species and about 20 wild animals in their variety including black rhinos, the Sanctuary is a fantastic place for tourists. With chalets, camping, self drive opportunities a restaurant and a swimming pool a visit to the Khama Rhino Sanctuary is sure to make memoirs at Botswana’s hidden gem.