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Monday, 10 June 2019   /   published in Rescue

Petronel Nieuwoudt

Petronel Nieuwoudt has over 20 years’ experience in the conservation and care of wild animals

She started her career in the Endangered Species Protection Unit of the South African Police where she held rank as Captain. In 1999 she left the police service and started The Game Capture School. And in 2011, Care for Wild Africa was born.

On a beautiful and hidden reserve near Nelspruit, South Africa, she runs this very special centre. It’s a sanctuary for many different wild animals in need. She is one of a few people worldwide who specialises in the care of orphaned and injured rhinos, which she calls her children

Most important of all is a calm, tranquil space for these animals

Petronel knows when a hair is out of place on any one of her rhinos. “It is all about attention to detail…” she says. The temperature of the milk is different for each individual animal, they are weighed every week to make sure they are healthy and each boma is specially designed and finished to the highest standard. Most important of all is a calm, tranquil space for these animals and to make sure you listen to what the animal is telling you.

Petronel gives her animals 24 hour care. There is no doubt that without her, many orphaned white rhinos would never have survived and had the chance to live a wild life again.