Zim's Ntombi the rhino shot by poachers

2016-04-10 20:01

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Harare – Wildlife lovers were this weekend mourning the death in Zimbabwe of a well known rhino shot by poachers in the Matopos National Park.

The Bhejane Trust, a local conservation group, confirmed that 8-year-old Ntombi was found still alive but badly wounded this week, several days after shots were heard.

"The shots were heard on Tuesday last week but nothing was found after a search by parks [Zimbabwe's National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority]. Only days later was the severely wounded Ntombi found," the trust said in an update on Facebook.

The rhino had to be euthanised.

Separately, a Bulawayo-based safari group said Zimbabwe's national parks authority battled to save the rhino, who had a 13-month old calf.  "The vet ruled there was no possibility of saving her," the Bhejane Trust said.

It's not clear where her calf is.

Rhino deaths on increase in Zim

Ntombi reportedly featured in a popular TV series 'Karina Wild on Safari' in 2011.

Two photos of the rhino enjoying the afternoon sun with her calf two weeks ago have been widely shared on Facebook since news of the rhino's death broke.

Ilse Jeurgens from The Hague posted under a Facebook story about Ntombi's death, "I'm so sad with this news. My heart is crying for you and your 'Children'."

Posted Ricky Roberts, "Are we only to see these amazing animals in zoos... I really don't get this anymore... The world has gone mad?"

The last reported death of a rhino in Matopos was in May 2015, when a male white rhino was shot and killed.

The Matopos (or Matobo) National Park lies 40km from Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo. Not all rhino killings reach the news.

Last year saw a surge in rhino poaching in Zimbabwe, with at least 50 poached, more than double the figure lost the previous year.

Zimbabwe's total population of white and black rhinos now stands at around 800. The Bhejane Trust said a reward would be offered for information leading to an arrest of the poachers.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  animals

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