Divan Grobler is a passionate young conservationist from South Africa, who is currently hand-rearing an abandoned, orphan baby rhino in a game reserve. Lions are also a big favourite of his and he went undercover to expose the canned hunting industry in the documentary Blood Lions.
As a child, Divan was utterly engrossed in anything to do with wildlife and spent every spare minute watching documentaries, especially those featuring lions - a favourite animal then, as well as today. His heroes were wildlife warriors like George Adamson, Steve Irwin and Jane Goodall and his dream was to follow in their shoes.
After school he became a professional rugby player but after an injury, the lure of the wild was too strong and he soon started volunteering at a lion breeding farm. He spent much of his time here helping with four lion cubs, and learned huge amounts about the species. However, after realising that the lions were ultimately being sold to hunting farms, he moved on, vowing to highlight the plight of these creatures – a goal he is working on. To learn as much about lion conservation as he could he then went on to spend time in Timbavati, near the Kruger National Park, learning how to track lions, how their prides were structured and getting to grips with a few tricks of the trade in order to foil poachers. It was while he was here that Divan went undercover for the documentary Blood Lions.
Time spent on a private reserve broadened Divan’s experience to include monitoring and tracking of cheetahs and elephants and then he moved to Namibia to further research lions. Back in South Africa he worked in a wildlife rehabilitation centre and was involved in rearing everything from baboons and vervet monkeys, to serval cats and mongoose. After a year, he left to become conservation manager at another reserve and this is where he met the orphan baby rhino, that he nicknamed Orion. Divan spends most of his time with Orion, feeding and exercising him and never left his side when he contracted an infection. When fully mature, Orion will be released back into the wild, but until that time, Divan will remain by his side, planning for his next mission when he can rescue, rehabilitate and return an animal in need to its natural habitat.