No one in the world needs a rhino horn- but a rhino
Updated: Jun 18, 2021
“Photographs open doors into the past, but also allow a look into the future!” -sally mann
Hot summer days marked the beginning of a year’s journey into the wild. After extensive planning with the best of friends a girl could have, I was able to finally continue my journey into conservation photography, capturing what made my heart beat- the fight on the ground to preserve our endangered species. But only after some long, warm nights following a snowy winter break in Austria, cheering on life, dreams and friendship with tequila, rosé and endless braais. (the South African equivalent of BBQ)
It started with several trips to South Africa’s most heartbreaking wildlife sanctuaries- rhino orphanages. These litte babas have to overcome the trauma of losing their mom to a brutal attack, some get hurt in the process and some are not found immediately and wander around, lost, tired and scared until they are captured and brought into the caring hands of vets and care takers.
While filming the inspiring ladies, who are the soul of the orphanages, I learned that every single baby is blessed with its own personality- some needing lots of attention and love, others rebelling, wanting everything their way. I found the one thing, they all have in common: Their love for milk- they would do anything for milk- and mud baths, looooong mud baths, followed my burps and grunts.
The care takers and vet nurses not only work hard,long hours, they are also absolute heroes in my eyes, with their entire being focused on their litte charges, while facing the realities of the poaching crises over and over again.
I heard so many sad tales that turned into something beautiful once the little orphans were nurtured back into health or were guided through the initial shock, I witnessed the bonds between humans and rhinos and I celebrated their release back into the wild.
Catch a glimpse of our time with the little ones (footage: arno smit/ bog photography)