The rhino being named!
Rhino no.1: 8 years old.
Taller, longer and wider, a good listener and inquisitive
Rhino no.2: 7 years old.
Smaller and stumpier, feisty and alert
L'unité de protection de la faune communautaire Cobras est un groupe d'éclaireurs, tous originaires des villages locaux. Ils ont été formés aux premiers secours, à l'éducation à la conservation, aux communications, au maniement des armes, au droit de la conservation et à la surveillance des rhinocéros pour être en mesure de mieux soutenir et protéger la faune de la région ainsi que d'atténuer les tensions homme-faune.
Ils mènent des activités importantes, notamment la protection des rhinocéros, les patrouilles à la recherche de pièges, la gestion de la faune, la lutte contre les incendies, l'éducation environnementale et la résolution des conflits homme-faune. Nos Cobras ont été sélectionnés parmi tant d'autres ; leur formation est ardue et ils ont développé des compétences mentales et physiques qui les rendent respectés dans toute la région et inspirent les jeunes générations à devenir des gardiens de la faune.
Find out more about our panel:
Mandlakazulu Khumalo, 41 years, Chief of Matupula Communal lands
M Khumalo grew up in Matupula, under the able guardianship of the late Chief Nejah Matupula Khumalo and Analiah Khumalo, with his chieftaincy being passed down from his grandfather. After his schooling he studied to be a quantity surveyor until 2012 when he assumed the role of Chief Matupula. This role thrust him into the forefront of pioneering wildlife and nature conservation initiatives as his area borders Hwange National park. This simultaneously gives him the benefit of interacting with wildlife, but also means he very much sees himself and his fellow community members as gatekeepers and protectors of these same resources
Lesley Mlevu, 89 years, Mlevu Ward Headman
L Mlevu was born in Tsholotsho and has worked as a storekeeper, owning and managing a shop in Mlevu village. His role as Ward Headman is important and he is of great inspiration to the people and his family. L Mlevu’s close relationship to nature has always been obvious and he passes on his appreciation of wildlife, with two of his grandchildren being Imvelo guides! He sees the rhino as important to attracting people to the area, generating more funds for the communities and helping educate children of the next generations.
Jacob Mdlongwa, 80 years, Vukuzenzele Village Head
J Mdlongwa was born and has always lived in Zikwakwene, a few kilometres from Hwange National Park. He worked in the veterinary services in Ngamo and has always had an appreciation for wildlife. He is very happy the rhino will soon be back in the area, especially so that his children can know them and grow to take care of them. J Mdlongwa thinks the area will see many changes with the rhino’s arrival, and great benefits to the people. He is confident that the rhino will be in good hands with the Cobras Communitiy Wildlife Protection Unit providing security, protection and support to the communities.
Andrew Ncube, 68 years, Thokozani Village Head
A Ncube was born and bred in Ziga village. Previously he worked for the National Railways of Zimbabwe and has since then been the village headman and a susbsistence farmer. He leads the local people to work towards greater livelihoods and wellbeings. A Ncube is looking forward to the rhino and to allowing his children and grandchildren to go to Ngamo to see these magnificient creatures and learn more about them. He remembers he once saw a white rhino in 1995 on the plains and knows their return will improve wellbeings, employment and health in the area.
Cedric Moyo, 26 years, Cobra Sergeant Major
Cedic grew up in Ziga village, where he still lives today. He trained in South Africa and at Malilangwe prior to passing Imvelo’s first Cobras Community Wildlife Protection Unit selection course in 2018 and very quickly becoming a natural leader and inspiration for some of the other scouts. He joined to Cobras to protect the flora and fauna in the area and work with wildlife rather than against it. Cedric is particularly looking forward to having rhino, as a way of introducing a protected specie into the communities and allowing the local next generation to actually grow up knowing and respecting rhino.