This book was first published in 1972, has 243 pages, 23 chapters, 30 B/W photos and 2 maps. The foreword is by Alan Faton. The book is dedicated to the Game guards. IAN PLAYER was born in 1927 and educated at St John's College, Johannesburg and sustained a bad knee injury. He served in South African Army in Italy. Back from the war, he worked as a miner, prospector, factory hand, clerk and professional fisherman. In 1952, he became a Game Ranger and between 1955-1964, he served in UMFOLOZI Game Reserve working with white rhinos. In 1962, he became a senior Warden. He is the elder brother of Gary Player, the golfer. In this book, Player tells the story of capture and relocation of the white rhinos from Umfolozi Game Reserve. Hunting was common near the Black(narrow river of fibrous bush) and White(broad white and gold sands) Umfolozi Rivers in the 1800's. Many white rhinos were easily shot due to its inoffensive nature. By 1893, they were extinct in the rest of South Africa. On 22.4.1897, Umfolozi was made in to a Game Reserve. In Oct 1953, Player was sent here to help with aerial count of the white rhino. They counted 437 white rhinos in 3 days. Unlike black rhino, the white rhino cannot swim. Player did not receive radio for communication until 1960. From Kenya, Dr Harthoorn came to advise on tranquilising the white rhino, using CAPCHUR GUN and darts. The rest of the team tried to make notes to learn the chemicals and the darting procedure. One rhino dies of overdose. Then 2 more die out of the 10 darted. From 8.6.1961, morphine based drug was experimented on the rhinos with promising results. The rhinos were drugged, tagged and released. After few more rhinos died, they successfully crated and relocated others.Read more ›
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Bittersweet reading3 Feb. 2013
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Forty years ago a small group of determined conservationists rescued the white rhino from almost certain extinction. The people involved were not a well funded group of research scientists, they were a rough and ready bunch of game rangers working by trial and error to find a way to capture and transport the world's second largest mammal safely. In the previous century these placid, prehistoric-looking creatures had been shot out of their natural ranges throughout sub-Saharan Africa. One last refuge remained, but this too was under pressure from encroaching human settlement. Extinction seemed inevitable, but for the efforts of these visionary men. They made mistakes, they improvised and their hearts were broken time and again as they watched these great animals suffer through the indignities and pressures of captivity and transit. But ultimately they succeeded and in time relocated over 1000 rhino to zoos around the world and to settle back in reserves where their forebears had prospered for millennia. This is bittersweet reading. The white rhino stands again on the brink of extinction at the hands of poachers and bounty hunters. Who will save them this time?