Thursday, September 12, 2013

From Zoological/Menagerie Historian Richard "RJR" Reynolds

Alan - -
Thanks for your reply. Yes, I do recall that Rex Williams had a white rhino. His name was Thor,  like so - - 

Rex's wife Eva and Thor - - -

Above is Roman Schmitt and his young female black rhino Kenya and female African elephant Jenny. He got Jenny from Jurgen Schulz in 1978.  This is in the barn at Circus World, Haines  City, FL. I saw the same scene in person in 1984 with both begging for treats.

Here is Roman riding Kenya in a circus performance.

The photo(in the prior link above) was part of a news article about Zimbabwean strong man Mugabe's plan to seize white owned game ranches in his country where the above photo was taken. 

It was furnished by Kathie Lindemann Schulz. Her father,Roland Lindemann, was the founder and owner of the Catskill Game Farm. Her former husband Jurgen is (was) an animal catcher/dealer whose grandfather was the renowned  East African animal man Christoph Schulz. Here is Kathie in 1960 with a rhino and elephant at Carr Hartley's Kenya ranch - - 

As for Zimbabwe (nee Rhodesia) Kathie sent me this fine and touching memoir of her years there, to wit - -
I lived in Rhodesia for two capturing seasons with Jurgen when we were married back in 1966 and 1967.  I went there as a bride of three months.  The only thing the country lacked was petrol.  Otherwise, it had become very self-sufficient.  People rallied together and worked as a and white together in a happy environment.  We loved the time we spent in that beautiful country. 
We had a custom-made caravan with a double bed (unknown in those days) from Jurgen's parents which I pulled with my American Ford car while Jurgen drove the Mercedes tractor trailer.  We spent most of our seven to eight months each year parked in one of the camps in what was then Wankie National Park.  Those days on safari will be a special part of my life forever.  To watch a lioness stalk it's prey at sunset while I am up in a tree hide while the men were capturing elephants below is something unforgettable.
Sometimes we lived in a thatched roof hut or lodge if we were entertaining American Zoo friends.  I am so glad to have seen it in the days of Ian Smith as Prime Minister.  Salisbury and Bulawayo were such beautiful cities especially when the jacaranda and other trees were in bloom.  The streets were lined with bird of paradise and ginger.  It was a tropical wonderland lush and green as well.
Marlin Perkins would fly out periodically to be photographed in the Wild Kingdom series. Jim Fowler and entourage were following us while we captured our animals each year.  They had an agreement with the Rhodesian Government to photograph what we were capturing.  Our family supplied a service to the government by transporting White Rhinos from Umfolosi National Park near Durban to the Rhodesian Game Reserves where they had none.  No monetary exchange was allowed so we provided a service.  In exchange we were allowed to capture and export "X" number of each specie annually.  We knew the country well.
It is indeed a pity what has happened to that beautiful land.
Hope you enjoy
Richard Reynolds
"Great stuff, RJR.  Thank you for sharing."

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