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April 27, 2006

Over the Easter weekend, Lewa received an unusual report from Ol Pejeta that one of the adult male black rhinos in the Conservancy had severe injuries in his eyes inflicted in a fight with another male the previous week. Due to the injuries, the male named Job, appeared blind and stood minimal chance of surviving in the wild. After assessing the situation, the management of Ol Pejeta in consultation with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Lewa decided to move the male to a suitable holding ground when he could recuperate under close observation. Lewa's capture equipment and multipurpose holding pens were the best placed to handle this arduous task.

Using a vet from KWS and personnel from the two Conservancies Job was successfully immobilised ready for treatment and subsequent transportation. It was only after he stumbled down that the magnitude of the injuries inflicted on him was realised. The eyes and facial injuries were meticulously cleaned, then treated and long acting antibiotics were administered. Later, he was safely moved to Lewa's pens on Easter Sunday to start the long but promising journey to recovery.

During his confinement, Job has continued with his daily prescription and has made tremendous progress. The injuries have healed completely and he has regained his strength. Unfortunately, he has become one hundred percent blind. Job has gained so much confidence with his keepers (and not anybody else) that he allows them to even remove ticks from his folds and apply injections without any fuss. To satiate his appetite a tractor was devoted on a daily basis to cut browse while water was provided ad lib. A four man team has maintained guard on a 24-hour basis.

Discussions are now at an advanced stage to move him back to Ol Pejeta where he will receive a new lease of life by being confined in a 4,000-acre predator proof sanctuary. Even though this male is blind, chances of his survival are very high since black rhinos rely more on scent as opposed to sight for food and water.

Lewa, through her many well wishers, feels privileged to be in a position to offer such a "second life" to not only Job, but to all the other endangered species and the overall biodiversity within her jurisdiction.