Dehorned rhino Hope recovering

2015-08-12 10:57
A rhino named Hope, in her pen in the Eastern Cape province, treated with a dressing where her horns used to be. (Suzanne Boswell Rudham/Saving the Survivors via AP)

A rhino named Hope, in her pen in the Eastern Cape province, treated with a dressing where her horns used to be. (Suzanne Boswell Rudham/Saving the Survivors via AP)

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HOPE, the pregnant white rhino who was gunned down last week in Mahlalela Park by poachers, is recovering thanks to an operation involving an elephant hide.

Hope and her five-year-old bull calf were shot and dehorned in the reserve on Monday last week.

The reserve found the dead bull calf on Tuesday with his front horn “hacked off”, and found Hope a day later, clinging to life, with a gun shot wound to the head and her front horn removed.

Mahlalela Park shareholder Mark Dedekind said Hope had been stunned by the gunshot wound and had been conscious when the poachers “hacked off her horn”.

Dedekind said at first, they thought there was little to no chance that Hope would survive after the extent of the bullet wound was discovered.

“The bullet had entered the side of her head, missed the brain, but damaged her spine. The bullet was lodged into the other side of her neck.

He said she will need numerous intensive treatments and a cast will have to be made and fixed to her snout to cover her wound so she does not open the injury up.

Yesterday, Dedekind said Hope was doing well and despite the loss of their white rhino bull calf, the reserve was happy that Hope was going to make a full recovery.

“Hope is alright. We had a professor from Onderstepoort here yesterday [Monday] and our park’s vet.

“They operated for nearly two hours and used elephant hide to cover up the wound.”

Dedekind said the vet had predicted that it would take a full year until she is fully healed but the outcome of the operation had been successful.

He added that the park was hoping for the best for Hope’s calf but would only be able to conduct a pregnancy test on the white rhino cow in three weeks to establish whether it had been aborted during the traumatic experience or not

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  rhino

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