Dehorned pregnant rhino clinging to life, her bull calf killed

2015-08-07 10:38
The white rhino cow that was poached at Mahathunzi and found yesterday morning.

The white rhino cow that was poached at Mahathunzi and found yesterday morning. (Supplied)

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Durban - A pregnant white rhino named Hope was shot, dehorned and left for dead after poachers first killed and de-horned her 5-year-old bull calf in Zulu­land on Monday afternoon.

Mahlalela Game Ranch shareholder Mark Dedekind said they found the white rhino bull on Tuesday and his mother a day later, barely clinging to life and pregnant.

“We found the mother of the young rhino that was killed on Tuesday, and she was also shot.

“They had shot her in the head, which stunned her and put her down, but she was not dead. They hacked off her horn while she was alive,” said an upset Dedekind.

“We found her on Wednesday morning and got a helicopter and vet in immediately.

“She was sedated by the vet and treated on site, and then loaded and transported to a holding location.

“The bullet entered the side of her head, missed the brain, but damaged her spine. It is lodged on the other side of her neck.

“However, trying to remove it would probably do more damage.

“She has a small chance of surviving, but will need numerous intensive treatments and a cast will have to be made and fixed to her snout to cover her wound to help her not to keep opening up the injury.”

Dedekind said a similar incident had occurred in March this year, when a pregnant cow and calf were shot and their horns hacked off.

“The calf died but the cow survived,” he said.

“I want people to realise that we have to act now to save the rhino.”

He added that Hope had not aborted her baby and everyone at Mahlalela had faith that the two would survive.
Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  poaching  |  rhino poaching
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