There's a Rhino in my house on Animal Planet

When a tragic turn of events leaves an adorable baby rhino, a tiny warthog and a hyper hyena orphaned, native Zimbabwean and conservationist Judy Travers takes on the mammoth task of raising all three – in her home!

Premiering Sunday, May 30 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT, Animal Planet’s one-hour special THERE’S A RHINO IN MY HOUSE is the story of an unconventional herd and one woman’s determination to save them. With the hyena tearing the furniture apart, the warthog in her bed and a half-tonne rhino to bottle feed, life for Travers and her husband John is turned topsy-turvy.

When it comes to raising rhinos in the wild, the Travers – who have made it their lives’ work to give rescued wild animals a home at their 4,400 hectare game park, the Imire Safari Ranch – are experts, but having orphaned rhino Tatenda in their home brings about a totally new experience. Weekday mornings at the Travers’ is anything but the norm and everything involved in keeping Tatenda alive is a major undertaking. 

Having rescued Tatenda, the Travers now face an even greater challenge – convincing him he’s not a pet and cannot stay at home forever. For the Travers, protecting Tatenda’s future is not just about teaching him how to survive in the wild – it’s about how to change the mindset of the local people so that black rhinos can have a future at all. And although illegal poaching in Zimbabwe has challenged them with a daily battle to keep their animals alive, their compassion and determination to save this species for the next generation keeps their values strong and their mission thriving.

For over 20 years, the Travers focused much of their efforts on their black rhino conservation project, where in September 2007 Tatenda became the 14th baby rhino to be born. Sadly, just weeks later, Tatenda’s mother was butchered by poachers, leaving the orphaned baby rhino behind. The Travers instantly made the decision to adopt the traumatized Tatenda, raising him in their home. In the same week, another orphan – a tiny warthog they named Pogs – also became part of the Travers’ odd family; along with Tsotsi, a hyena they rescued when he was abandoned as a pup.

About the author