R15 000 to care for orphaned rhino

2014-04-14 13:10

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Cape Town – In 2013, over 1 000 rhino were poached in South Africa as demand for their horn escalates. The effect on populations, especially calves, is devastating.

It can cost as much as R15 000 to care for orphaned rhino traumatised by the slaughter of their mothers.

According to a report on IOL most of those orphaned (especially the rhino that are still suckling) are too young to survive alone.

Some of these orphaned rhino are found in time, and in Mpumalanga a woman has taken on the roll of raising these animals.

Petronel Nieuwoudt, who is the founder of a rehabilitation centre called Care for Wild Africa has taken on 10 rhino so far and believes she has no choice but to continue taking in the helpless animals.

She notes that when authorities bring the rhino to her, she can actually see their sorrow and how much attention they need.

In many cases the infant rhino need medical attention. Nieuwoudt told media outlets that in some cases the baby rhino have developed ulcers after witnessing their mothers being hacked and slaughtered for their horns.

Getting the animals treated is not an easy task, said Nieuwoudt who believes that their trust of humans is non-existent.

Nieuwoudt said that baby rhino associate humans with the death of their mothers and that this has caused them not to trust people. The fact that the animals are stressed means that they require extra medical attention.

Rearing these animals and trying to restore their ability to survive is a mammoth task that requires funds, funds that are slowly dwindling.

The main costs that arise according to Nieuwoudt include milk, fuel to move the animals, veterinary fees, medication and support workers.

Nieuwoudt said that on average one rhino can cost up to R15 000 a month to raise and help develop. As the animal starts to get better, the cost slowly reduce to about R3 000 a month.
Read more on:    mpumalanga  |  animals  |  rhino poaching

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