My First Black Rhino Sighting.
This was during the early 1960's when there was a rhino enclosure south of Hapoor dam that had the rhino in it. You were not allowed into the enclosure but could drive down the outside of one side of the camp. We never saw any rhino while driving but did see the rhino at the furthest point where you were allowed to get out your car. If one arrived there in the late afternoon one could be lucky and find the rhino there. The game ranger there would feed the rhino "norsdoring" through the fence. I remember the times when we arrived there and the rhino was not there that the game ranger would call out to the rhino " kom kom kom" and also beating on a bucket with a stick. The rhino would then normally come for his treat of norsdoring. It was my treat when the game ranger used to call me and allow me to feed the rhino keeping a very close watch that I did not put my hand through the fence but only the norsdoring. This is still one of my highlights of the Park.
Below is a pic that I took of a notice/information board at Jack's picnic site. I have also typed out the inscription on it so that you can read what's written on it.
My question is, Was it Jack the rhino that I fed and was the game ranger Karools Goliath?
My guess is that I will never know.
JACK'S PICNIC SITE
This picnic site is named after Jack the Black Rhino who spent his last days here. he often could be seen sunning himself in the grassy clearing which now forms part of the picnic site. Jack was a black rhino of the East African subspecies Diceros bicornis michaeli
and was one of the first rhino introduced to the Park in March 1961 when he was aged about 5 years.
In the early 1960's at a time when the black rhino was under threat of extinction in South Africa, black rhino from Kenya were reintroduced to the Park. By 1986, these east African rhino had multiplied to 17. In 1991, Park management decided to follow the ICUN's decision to stock only the subspecies of rhino indigenous to the particular area. Hence from 1991 - 2003, the michaeli
rhino were translocated out of the Park and the correct subspecies, Diceros bicornis bicornis
were reintroduced. 46 michaeli
rhino were relocated from Addo.
Jack's name was originally JA - a reference to JA Hunter who was responsible for killing over 1,000 black rhino in Kenya. JA was renamed Jack by park ranger Karools Goliath (who achieved 34 years of service) as he did not like the original name. Jack could not be translocated out of the Park due to a heart condition which meant he would probably have died if exposed to the stress and tranquilisers used during translocation. On two occasions during a previous immobilization his heart actually stopped and he needed to be resuscitated.
He spent his last days in this botanical reserve. Jack was well over 30 years of age when he died and is one of a very few black rhino recorded to have reached this stately age in the wild.