Journal Entry Ranger Jonathan Mbekezeli
Zimbabwe, Hwange National Park. Rhinoceros re-introduction program. March, 2157
Our little Rhino orphan Farai is doing much better than she was 3 months ago. We found her barely alive next to the corpse of her mother who was taken by poachers. Since she was just a few weeks old her horn was too small so they left her to die. When we found her she was dehydrated, distraught, and exhausted.
We brought her back to base and got her back on her feet. It had never been tried before but we introduced her to our old Rhino drone Mbangura. I don't know much about drone AI systems or any of that stuff but Mbangura seems to enjoy looking after little Farai! An Oxpecker hangar was installed on Mbangura and we let the two of them roam around the area outside of HQ. Mbangura takes Farai around the reserve and shows her where the water holes are, all the different animals in the park, and watches over her at night. He brings Farai back to HQ so we can give her milk and check on her health.
Farai is a cute one. She's very animated and curious. She's gotten into a few tough spots with some of the other rhinos but with Mbangura around she has nothing to worry about.
Researches from around the world have come to see the pair. Drone specialists are especially interested in Mbangura, specifically his AI core. The shift in protocol was unexpected and unprecedented. Mbangura is an old combat drone we received from the military. We used him extensively in busting poaching activity and he's fought with other drones on multiple occassions. For him to be displaying what appears to be natural parental animal-like behavior has become an issue of intense speculation. We've argued to keep Mbangura with Farai, and so far we've succeeded. I don't know what's going to happen next or how long we can keep him.
All I know is that Farai can't lose another parent.
All proceeds from print sales of this image or any other images related to Big Five will be donated to the IAPF to help them prevent illegal poaching of wildlife in Africa.
May well be spending the next few months persuading family to get me print for christmas
from the story telling to the art and back again. really inspiring stuff man..