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Rhino Thembi is 15 Months Old Today!


Today, on Thembi’s 15 month birthday we shine light on Angie Goody, founder of TESA: Thandi’s Endangered Species Association. Angie joined the Kariega Conservation Volunteer Programme in January 2012, never expecting that she would be involved in helping save rhino Thandi recover from having half her face hacked off by savage poachers. The experienced changed the course of Angie’s life. She writes, “When I close my eyes I can still see those rhinos faces, I can still smell their rotting flesh and can still hear the noises they made.”

Fundraising for Rhino Thandi’s Treatment After Poaching

On her return to her home in the Isle of Man, Angie set up a small fund raising organisation called Thandi's Fund Raiser. Several thousands of pounds were raised and donated back to The Kariega Foundation to help with some of Thandi's veterinary costs and to purchase tracking collars for Kariega’s rhino. Over time the organisation grew and was renamed Thandi's Endangered Species Association (TESA), which is now dedicated to educating children and teenagers about their responsibility to protect endangered species.

Angie Reconnects with Pregnant Rhino Thandi

In October 2014, soon after Thandi’s pregnancy was announced to the world, Angie got her dream internship and returned to Kariega Game Reserve to monitor Thandi. She remembers watching for the signs of an advancing pregnancy and imminent birth in excited anticipation. Family circumstances meant that she returned to the Isle of Man in mid-December and she was there when she received a call from Dr. Will Fowlds to say that Thandi had birthed a female calf. 

Angie writes on receiving the news, “I really had got to know this rhino personally after spending hours a day with her in the bush. I felt a connection and a trust build between us. Even though she was a huge wild rhino she had touched my heart and grabbed my sole. I felt like a proud grandmother.”

Angie Returns to Kariega to Meet Rhino Calf Thembi

Angie returned to Kariega Game Reserve on 8 February 2012 to resume her internship and met Thembi for the first time. She was told not to get her hopes up because Thandi had only been seen once since birthing Thembi. It may have been luck, but Angie prefers to believe that Thandi sensed Thembi’s grandmother had come to visit because on that day Thandi brought 3-week-old Thembi right up to vehicle where Angie sat in amazement taking 100's of photos and hoping her autofocus was working because of the tears were blurring her vision.

Kariega Deeply Grateful to Angie

Angie has expressed deep gratitude towards Kariega Game Reserve for her experiences and the opportunity to be involved in Thandi and Thembi’s inspiring story. However, we are also deeply grateful to Angie for having the energy and passion to take her experiences and use them for the greater good. The Kariega Foundation is one of many organisations that have benefited from TESA and Angie’s tireless efforts to protect animals under threat.

We are also very grateful for the awesome photo’s Angie has taken over the years. The series below of Thembi having a mud-bath is one of our favorites. Thank you Angie!

5 month old Thembi having a mud bath at Kariega

5 month old Thembi having a mud bath at Kariega

5 month old Thembi having a mud bath at Kariega