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Don’t Worry

June 27, 2014

Don’t Worry

- as seen by -

Tim Lewthwaite Tim Lewthwaite

Ears forward and eyes staring myopically through the surrounding mopane trees in northwest Namibia, the black rhino searched for signs of danger over the dried riverbed. Cream-colored grass, bleached white by the sun, spread out in front of him. It was close to noon, and he looked ready to lie down and sleep. I didn’t blame him as the sun was beating down and the cool of the morning was rapidly dissipating, replaced by a hard, dry heat.

I turned to one of the scouts and whispered, “What’s the rhino called?” The scouts know most of the animals by sight.

“Don’t worry,” came the reply.

That’s an odd answer, I thought. The rhino was at least 100 yards away and didn’t seem to be agitated. What was there to be worried about?

“I am not worried, but was wondering about the ID of the rhino?”

“Don’t worry,” came the reply again.

I was about to ask if he understood my question. The scouts are Damara, and although English is the official language in Namibia, just 7 percent of the population uses it.

Just then he smiled at me and said, “The rhino’s name is Don’t Worry.”

Don’t Worry is a 22-year old sub-dominant male, and one of the more approachable rhinos in the population. The rhinos in this area barely survived an onslaught of poaching in the 1980s and 1990s, but since the formation of the Save the Rhino Trust, the population has more than doubled.

Nikon D80 with a 70-300 mm lens


Damaraland, Namibia Map It

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4 comments

Don Moore
June 27, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Great story! Glad he lives…

Tim Lewthwaite
June 27, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Was a wonderful encounter with a guide who had a dry sense of humor.

JoAnna B.
April 17, 2016 at 10:22 pm

Seen pictures of “Don’t worry ” on TV”
CNN…The Wonder List With Bill Weir
Weir goes on an Africa safari as he meets naturalist battling to
Save wildlife living under the threat of extinction.

JoAnna B.
April 17, 2016 at 10:28 pm

Also…. I see in your photo it still has it’s horn.On the TV show..Don’t Worry’s “horn had been removed to keep it safe from poachers..
Very sad this has to be done..