While it’s known that Mafa came from South Africa, it’s unclear whether he was born at a game farm or captured from the wild. Regardless, his need for space to roam and graze is surely not met by the circus, Draper said.
“The problem with circuses is that they travel,” Draper said. “Even with the best will in the world, they’re unable to offer adequate care for animals. They pack up and move every week or so, and in order to securely contain a rhino, they’d need to keep him in a small movable enclosure. This is nowhere near what a rhino needs to have the opportunity to graze, escape noise from people and from other animals. It’s a completely inappropriate environment.”
Mafa is a southern white rhino native to South Africa, which is a close cousin of the critically endangered northern white rhino. The latter species lost its final surviving male, Sudan, in March.