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 Solio Update - 5/8/2011
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Solio came to us at the end of September 2010, orphaned at the age of six months old, and on arrival proved to be a serious hand full.   She charged and chased the keepers at any given opportunity, and every one soon got use to having to be swift and fleet of foot around her. Now, 8 months on, the transformation is incredible, for she now loves her Keepers immensely, following them trustingly throughout the day and enjoys nothing more than rolling onto her side and letting them scratch her face and tummy. She loves this so much that whenever a Keeper walks to her she quickly lies down to encourage them to give her another quick cuddle! She truly is a remarkably calm and a very gentle black Rhino who has captured the hearts of all of the Keepers. Most Rhino calves her age tend to play a little rough, not always stopping in time and occasionally bumping the Keepers in the shins.  Solio, since taming down, has never done this, and is extremely and a real softy.  Every day she goes out with 2 Keepers and spends the day browsing, playing, sleeping, and of course getting lots of pampering from them. After her afternoon milk feed she enjoys having a dust bath, where 2 or sometimes 3 keepers assist with rubbing her down with soil, and playing with her,  generally spoiling her rotten.

Solio chilling with Abdi  

Solio relaxes with her Keepers

She has clearly found a wonderful home at the Nursery and has become an integral part of the Orphan group. Maxwell, her 5 year old black rhino neighbour, who initially just about broke down the stockade in fury when she first arrived, has fallen in love with little Solio. They interact every morning and evening through the stockade bars and have become good friends. Solio is so far proving to be a wonderful success for the Trust, especially after enduring so many heartbreaking Rhino situations, loosing Maalim last year, and the most recent tragic loss of Shida earlier this year. In Solio's daily antics we remember those whose lives we have been privileged enough to share, and whose memory still burns bright.   Her daily presence and loving temperament is heartwarming and reminds us all at the Trust that these ancient creatures are in desperate need of protection, every life counts.   Rhino horn fetches US$ 60,000 a kilo today.  In 1970 there were 70,000 black rhino in Africa and by 1995 the numbers had dropped to 2,475 in Africa.

An archival photograph taken by David Sheldrickof a rhino with huge horn in Tsavo in 1974

To view a short film on Solio's progress please click on the link below.



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