White rhino survives North West poaching

2016-09-26 16:33
Dr Gerhard Steenkamp tends to the injured rhino. (Saving the Survivors)

Dr Gerhard Steenkamp tends to the injured rhino. (Saving the Survivors)

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Johannesburg - An eight-year-old white rhino bull was the only survivor after five rhinos were poached in North West, Saving the Survivors said on Saturday.

Both his horns were hacked off, leaving a gaping wound of 49cm x 26cm that extended into the nasal cavities, senior lecturer at the University of Pretoria and Saving the Survivors Director, Dr Gerhard Steenkamp, said.

The rhinos were poached on a game farm during the past week.

Steenkamp said the owner of the farm initially wanted to the animal to be put down due to its severe injuries but accepted STS’s offer to treat him.

He described the injuries as the worst he had seen.

STS, a non-profit company and Elephant and Rhino People initiative, was founded in 2012 to attend to endangered wildlife injured during poaching attacks or other traumatic incidents. 

Steenkamp said a policeman investigating the poaching contacted STS about the badly-injured rhino.

Tokkie Botes, of Flight for Freedom, offered the use of his Bell helicopter to transport the injured animal.

“Once STS arrived on the farm where the rhino was shot, the situation was discussed with everyone concerned. They then took off to where the injured rhino was and it was during this flight on the property that the police asked STS to provide aerial photographs, including evidence of the other carcasses that could be crucial in the investigation of the poaching incident.” Steenkamp said.

North West vet, Dr Ben van den Berg, helped dart the animal.

The rhino was moved to a holding facility in Gauteng on Saturday. 

Read more on:    rhino horn  |  conservation  |  poaching

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