In 2019 Munu, a male Black Rhino was found wandering erratically in the Addo Elephant National Park in South Africa’s Eastern Province. Lions, always quick to spot weakness in any animal, were already circling the seemingly defenseless rhino. Soon, it seemed, his life would be over.
The park’s veterinary team was called in, and Munu was darted so they could examine him and find out why he was behaving so strangely. It didn’t take them long—Munu was utterly blind. He was immediately moved to the safety of a boma in the park while his future was debated.
Things didn’t look hopeful for Munu. It was suggested that he should be euthanized as the cost of protecting him would be unrealistically high. To put him down seemed like the most pragmatic thing to do. The alternative, and the route generally preferred in conservation, would be to let nature take its course. In Munu’s case, this would mean releasing him back into the park, where he would almost certainly fall prey to the lions.