The White Rhino Saga – back in print after more than 30 years – is more relevant than ever as our rhino population faces a deadly poaching onslaught. With a new introduction by Julian Rademeyer and a 'missing chapter' never before published, a new generation of readers can enjoy and learn from the extraordinary story of how the white rhino was saved from extinction four decades ago.
From Ian Player's first visit to the Umfolozi Game Reserve in South Africa's Zululand in 1952, the salvation of the white rhino from extinction became an obsession with him. The white rhino, the second largest animal in the world, had roamed over the southern half of the African continent in large numbers during the nineteenth century and before. By the 1960s fewer than five hundred remained, confined to 72 000 acres, not nearly enough territory for them to remain healthy and alive.
The problem confronting Ian Player and his coworkers was twofold: how to repopulate the game reserves of Africa where white rhinos had once lived, and how to supply white rhinos to the zoos of the world. The techniques for capturing and transporting the huge animals are fascinating.
The White Rhino Saga, Alan Paton writes in his foreword, 'is a book for every lover of the wild. The danger of captures, the disappointments, the ultimate successes, makes a splendid tale.' It is a tale of adventure, of Africa, of animals – and of the man who set out to save them.
Born in Johannesburg in 1927 and educated at St John’s College, Ian Player is an internationally recognised environmentalist and conservationist.
"A book for every lover of the wild"
– Alan Paton, in the foreword to the original edition