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Rhino birth on Lewa

July 20, 2005 Sara Spendrup

Ryan Adams is here on Lewa for the month of July to do some voluntary work. This is his story on a 'typical day' on Lewa;

Been chased by an angry two tonne white rhino lately? Well, I have, and I'm here to tell the tale. When Richard Moller, Head of Security, approached me with the opportunity to take pictures of Lewa's rhinos for the successful 'Name-and-Adopt-a-Rhino' programme, I decided that this would provide me with the unique opportunity to view the scenery and observe the wildlife. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that the next few days would include such breath-taking and heart-stopping moments.

Partnered up with Steven, a Security Ranger here at Lewa, we set off to find 23 black and white rhinos and to take what Richard referred to as "up close and personal photos" and what I would later refer to as "this is way too dangerous for volunteer work photos"! After our first day, we were able to capture five rhinos on camera, and were met with little hostility from our massive models. However, our second day varied significantly from the previous, and provoked many distinct emotions: the high of photographing Lewa's two orphaned rhinos, Maxx and Tula, who are more apt to want to play with you than have their pictures taken; the utter fear and sense of accomplishment from out running a two tonne white rhino and then hiding up a thorny tree that surely did not feel high enough to protect us from the wrath of this angry rhino; finally, the extreme excitement and privilege to be the first person to bare witness to Lewa's latest brand spankin' new baby black rhino.

As Steven and I stood in awe as the proud mother protected her baby, the dangers of another tree incident were convincingly outweighed by the possibility of catching a glimpse of the curious and stumbling newborn that has the potential to begin to fulfil one of Lewa's dreams; a dream where the word "endangered" does not precede the name black rhino.

It is here that the magic of Lewa truly sets in. Only at Lewa can you go from setting up one of the world's most challenging marathons one day, and then the next, running for your life from a protective mother rhino. Only at Lewa would this be considered a typical day...

Ryan Adams

The total amount of rhinos on Lewa as of today is 41 black and 36 white.

The black rhino that gave birth is called Natumi and this is her first calf. The baby has not been named yet and if you are interested in naming it please contact Sara Spendrup on sara@lewa.org for more details on how to proceed.