Lionman now rhino man
NEIL REID – Sunday News
Lionman Craig Busch is helping save the rhino.
Busch, who has been based at South Africa’s Rhino and Lion Reserve, has become involved in the campaign against poachers threatening the endangered beast.
He has told of his latest conservation quest on his new-look website.
“Listening to his heart and not to logic The Lionman journeyed to Africa in pursuit of a vision dictated by his passion for Big Cat preservation and to secure the animals disappearing bloodlines,” reads Busch’s biography on the site.
“Craig Busch put reason and certainty aside resulting in a dramatic relocation to the home of the big five and other creatures.
“The excitement of the move, its hurdles, numerous struggles, new ventures, and a variety of wildlife brought unexpected challenges to an unfolding story.”
Since moving to South Africa with fiancee Suzanne Eisenhut, he has helped set up One World – an organisation his website described as a “collective of caring and battle-scarred conservationists whom Craig Busch has befriended on his numerous quests”.
One World’s goal is to create a “safe and sustainable environment for all endangered or threatened creatures”.
“The Lionman will spread awareness about the perils facing the animal kingdom and he will eventually create a safe refuge for wild cats and other animals in Africa,” the website message reads.
Busch, star of worldwide hit TV show The Lion Man, has been involved in a long-running legal battle with his mother, Patricia, for the control of Whangarei big-cat park, Zion Wildlife Gardens. The Lion Man was set at Zion.
Since his move to South Africa earlier this year, Busch had seen “striking evidence” of nearly 300 rhino killings.
Last month the Rhino and Lion Reserve, near Johannesburg, adopted a nine-month-old male rhino left orphaned after poachers killed its mum.
Sadly the infant rhino, Vusi, died eight days later from the severe trauma and dehydration it had suffered before its rescue.
Despite being fenced off, the Rhino and Lion Reserve has been targeted by poachers for rhino horns – highly sought after for traditional Asian medicines.
Management of the privately-owned reserve are considering a deterrent pesticide they believe could “strike fear in the hearts of poachers”. The pesticide would be injected into the horns of living rhinos, rendering them useless for the medicines.