RIP Roo the rhino – Africa Geographic

An obituary to a black rhino who didn’t know he was one.

Written by: Debbie Cooper

My heart is so sore because we’ve lost one of our own – a dearly loved, little black rhino that we knew as Roo. And even though he died of natural causes, rather than at the hand of man, it still hurts so much to know he’s gone.

Roo was one of the first orphans to be brought into the bomas at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in 2009. Without the company of others of his kind, he didn’t ever really seem to know that he was a black rhino, so he wasn’t scary and bad-tempered like many others of his species. He was, in fact, a bumbling puppy-rhino with a couple of goats for playmates.

Roo and goat companion in the boma in 2010

Even though he was kept as ‘wild’ as possible, moving to a large leafy boma with space to roam and browse, the constant background of human voices and machinery meant that Roo had no natural fear of the terrible potential threat that man might pose. And thank goodness that he never had to learn that lesson.

But it was a lonely life, despite his goat buddy, and we were all delighted when another young orphan from Ithala Game Reserve was relocated to join him – and a female at that. At last, a mate! And so, with much fuss made about the Romeo-and-Juliet pairing, the two young calves were moved together to their new home on the Eastern Shores of iSimangaliso before they chose to part ways of their own accord.

Foot collar being fitted on Roo by Dr Dave Cooper 2012

Roo being hoisted out of boma on ES 15 October 2012

Roo proceeded to develop a huge fan base with his absolute lack of fear in the face of vehicles or tourists. He’d wander right past them, unconcerned by their presence, treating them to the best close-up experience anyone could wish for.


Roo - happy and free in 2012

He gave the thrill of a lifetime to two French cyclists on the iSimangaliso MTB race when they almost collided with him – and all he did was look at them quizzically. And in recent months, he found himself adopted by a small crash of white rhino, enchanting everyone who saw them together and even enabling St Lucia photographer Charne’ von Plaster to win a national prize for her set of photos of the unlikely family group.

Roo and his friends ©Charne von Plaster

One of the last photos I saw was taken on 9th June by David Sibiya, showing him standing peacefully with his white rhino ‘siblings’.

Roo and a white rhino ©David Sibaya

The last recorded sighting of him by Conservation Manager Chantal Dickson was then on 24th June when she snapped a shot of him looking completely healthy and at ease. Then the awful news came a few days later that the carcass of a black rhino had been discovered. A vet checked the scene – there was no sign of bullets, so no foul play. But what the rangers did notice was the presence of elephant spoor and dung. A herd of almost 100 elephants had indeed crossed over from the Western Shores the previous week, and the assumption was made that they were perhaps responsible for trampling on Roo. But I guess we’ll never know for sure.

The last photo taken of Roo ©Chantal Dickson

Source: RIP Roo the rhino – Africa Geographic


#AdoptDontShop at Petfinder



Rescue Sheba

Nobody came for the sweet little angel today. The shelter has given her numerous days to find a home and still nobody shows any interest. Please share her she is running out of time
PLAIN AND SIMPLE – A GOOD GIRL WITH A DREAM TO FIND HER HAPPILY EVER AFTER TODAY … She lived with kids and allowed them to pet her and sit on her back, but she was not allowed to play with them. She had a home, but had to live outside during the summer. Today, she has a dream that someone will see her and give her the life she has always deserved full of love, laughter and happiness — no more lonely nights!

A volunteer writes :
Admittedly, Sheba was a bit nervous and aloof with me when I first took her out. It didn’t take long though for her to warm up to me and even climb into my lap. She loves butt scratches and is very sweet. Her owner says that she is well behaved in the house, housetrained, let the kids climb on her and knows a number of commands. She lived outside during the year, except in the winter 😦 Her safer is good, and her PG recommends a tolerant other dog and very slow introductions. Please share her.”

SHEBA – A1106824 – Brooklyn – Publicly Adoptable

Sheba Is available for public adoption and can be reserved on line until 12 noon tomorrow by clicking the link below.

If you live in the tri-state area and would like to adopt But cannot get to the shelter in time click on the link below and fill out an app with rescue and a volunteer will contact you.



Over the weekend, I posted to twitter that “Since PETA doesn’t believe animals have a right to life it can’t – by definition – be an animal rights group. I included a photo of a postcard Ingrid Newkirk once sent me, written and signed by her, admitting to that fact.

I received the following message in reply: “Have heard/read so much anti Peta propaganda and pro Peta I honestly do not know who to believe. So I end up believing neither.”

This is a cop out. The truth does not come down to personalities. It comes down to what the objective facts, the evidence, shows. We all may be entitled to our own opinions, but we are not entitled to our own “facts.”

And given what is at stake — the lives of animals — the very least we owe the animals is an open mind, and the few minutes it takes to scrutinize the evidence for ourselves.

Here is the data, self-reported by PETA to the Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, showing roughly 9 out of 10 animals they seek out are killed by them:

Here is an inspection report by the Virginia State Vet showing PETA kills roughly 90% of animals within 24 hours without even trying to find them homes:

Here is an OpEd piece written by PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk which appeared in newspapers across the country where PETA says it supports a policy that all pit bulls should be killed in all shelters in America:

Here is a newspaper article about the trial of PETA employees who were found to be rounding up and killing animals in the back of a van after promising to find them homes:

Here is the news station report of PETA stealing Maya, a “happy and healthy” dog and killing her:

Here is the surveillance video of the theft:

Here is an article by a former PETA employee who was told to kill highly adoptable animals and to lie in order to get them:

Here is an interview with the former PETA employee who says that killing and lying are “standard operating procedure”:

Here is an article where PETA says community cats are better dead than sterilized and fed:

Here is a video made by Shelby County KY shelter volunteers after PETA celebrated when that shelter announced it was going to resume killing after four years as a No Kill shelter:

Here is a letter by the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies asking the State Vet to revoke PETA’s ability to take in and kill animals:

Here is a letter written by PETA to a Mayor telling him to kill all pit bulls, not to foster animals, and not to work with rescue groups:

Here are photographs of animals PETA has killed:

Here is a video where Ingrid Newkirk admits they kill healthy, adoptable animals:

There’s more; much more, including exposes in a wide variety of sources, such as the Huffington Post, New York Times, The Atlantic, CNN, and local newspapers.

PETA is letting loose upon the world individuals who not only maniacally believe that killing is a good thing and that the living want to die, but who are legally armed with lethal drugs which they have already proven—32,744 times—that they are not adverse to using.


Why PETA Kills


Employees Wanted: Must Love Animals – Nathan J Winograd


In fact, the study authors went even further here, too. They concluded  that staff and volunteers who live with cats correlated most strongly with these outcomes. Why? People who lived with cats “were found to have a more positive view of cats” than those who did not and they would spend more time interacting gently and positively with the cats.

And yet, too often, animal shelters are staffed with people who don’t care; who understand that they have the power to kill each and every one of these animals, and will in fact kill most of them, so that every interaction they have with those animals is influenced by the perception that their lives do not matter, that their lives are cheap and expendable, and that they are destined for the garbage heap.

If we are to encourage happy dogs and cats in shelters who approach potential adopters and thus get adopted quicker and in greater numbers, working at a shelter has to be a mission, not just a job. First and foremost, employees considered for the position have to love animals. As such, “do you have pets?” and “tell me about them” might just be the two most important things to ask during a job interview.

Read full article at: Employees Wanted: Must Love Animals – Nathan J Winograd