Tragedy as 18-year-old Midlands rhino dies after drowning

18 year-old Rhino Tyson died after drowning. Picture: Facebook

18 year-old Rhino Tyson died after drowning. Picture: Facebook

Published Jun 25, 2024


The Tala Collection Game Reserve and anti-poaching Rave Rhino and Wildlife Project NPC said they have had an emotionally draining week after 18-year-old white rhino Tyson died last week on Monday.

In a Facebook post, the NPC said Tyson slipped off a dam wall into the dam, and rhino minders and some of the volunteers who were at the reserve at the time tried their best to get him out. However, he died.

“We are all absolutely gutted and heartbroken. Tyson was recovered from the dam on Tuesday (last week) by SAPS PMB Search and Rescue members,” read the post.

The NPC said the members of the SAPS treated Tyson with the utmost respect and got him out. They conveyed their condolences to anyone who might be affected.

The NPC described Tyson as a true legend of his species and said his loss is a huge one.

18 year-old Tyson a rhino drowned last week. Picture: Facebook

Tala Collection Game Reserve assistant general manager, Tonia Allan, said white rhinos can live up to 50 years. She said Tyson was in his prime and still had “a good 10 years of breeding left in him”. Over the last 8 years, he had produced 11 babies.

She said Tyson weighed approximately 2.2 tons and had a character and personality that stood out.

“He would even challenge cars that got too close to him or his family. Being such a successful breeding male, he became popular and well-known. He was the big daddy of our farm,” said Allan.

Tyson was the only mature rhino male on the farm. Allan said they now had 10 rhinos.

“In November last year, after his mom was bitten by a black mamba and died, we had to rush one of her babies up to the Zululand Rhino Orphanage as he was just two weeks old,” explained Allan.

She said when rhinos are babies (calves) they require extensive care and the calf taken to Zululand Rhino Orphanage was Griffin.

Independent on Saturday