On 15 June we held an online conversation with author Deb Aronson, to celebrate the launch of “How to Raise a Rhino”, released by Bedazzled Ink Publishing.
As well as talking about the inspiration for her book, dedicated to the life of renowned conservationist Anna Merz, Deb hosted a panel discussion about the challenges rhino conservation is facing today.
She was joined by documentary filmmaker Marion Mauran, Lewa Conservancy and Kenya Wildlife Service vet Dr Matthew Mutinda, conservationist and Anna’s friend Patty Pearthree and Save the Rhino CEO, Cathy Dean.
“How to Raise a Rhino” is based on the extraordinary life of Anna Merz, who co-founded the Lewa Downs Rhino Sanctuary in Kenya. Growing up in post-WWII London, Anna was determined to live a life of grand adventure. She spent much of her life in Ghana racing horses, exploring the Sahara, and rescuing orphaned wild animals that were dropped at her door. When she moved to Kenya to retire in 1976, Anna anticipated rest and relaxation. Instead, she found her true calling, that of Kifaru Mama (Rhino Mama). Witnessing the tragedy of poaching and the illegal wildlife trade, which was causing Kenya’s black rhino population to plummet, she was determined to help rescue this unique and endangered species. From creating large rhino sanctuaries to darting rhinos from helicopters and bringing them to safety; and adopting a newborn rhino abandoned by her mother, Anna’s life became one challenge after another”.