Rhino calf, rescued from tree, dies

2011-09-18 23:15

Pretoria - The orphan rhino calf that was rescued after being trapped in the fork of a tree for at least eight hours on Wednesday, died early on Saturday morning.

The 3-week old white rhino calf blindly ran away from poachers who had killed its mother on a game farm in Assen, near Pretoria, and ended up with his head trapped in the V-shaped fork of a young tree.

In its desperate attempts to escape the calf had pawed deep grooves in the ground around the tree and had rubbed its neck raw against the trunks, causing his head to swell up.

A rhino cannot move backwards.

Owner Neels van Rensburg said on Sunday that while freeing the calf, the rescuers noted that it had been slashed over the head and its nose was bleeding, but the extent of its injuries was not known because its head was swollen from being trapped.

He said poachers usually shoot the calves because they keep trying to nuzzle the dead cow while the poachers cut off the rhino horn.

"I heard the little one cry, I saw it was trapped and was hurting, but I could not do anything until the vet arrived,” Van Rensburg said.

Louis Greef, a veterinarian from Thabazimbi, two helpers and a game ranger calmed the calf by plugging its ears and putting a blindfold over its eyes.

It took half an hour to lift its head free from the fork.

After it was freed, the calf was put on a drip and loaded onto a trailer.

Greef  said the calf drank milk, but kept turning in circles.

After it had died, a post mortem showed that its skull had been broken.


  • GrannyC - 2011-09-18 23:41

    How very very sad, but thanks to all who desperately tried to save this baby Rhino calf. Gosh how it must have panicked when it's mother was killed. To those bastards who killed the mother and savagely beat the baby, one day you will rot in hell, you savages.

  • chris.heyde1 - 2011-09-19 00:01

    Oh what a day you poachers are going to have when you meet the Living God on judgement day.

      Dmitri - 2011-09-19 06:20

      Why wait till then. Let us make their journey to Judgment day a journey to remember...............

  • ewald - 2011-09-19 03:01

    FUC# these BASTARDS!!

  • anna - 2011-09-19 03:04

    I feel sick with anger and frustration reading this! Why is South Africa so sick? Why do we cater to the sick minded bastards and why do we do so little to protect all that is good and beautiful in our land? The authorities have to do more to protect the animals. When are we going to call the army in to help stop this menace on our animals? It is time!!! The tourism department has to do something about this!

  • Riaan - 2011-09-19 04:35

    truly a very sad story.heartbreaking.To the mother f#ckers who caused this,may you burn in hell.........

  • iT@xpayer - 2011-09-19 06:07

    those F#cking pieces of sh#t. hope they die a horrible death soon.The market is driven by souless, barbaric cruel Asians unfortunately.

  • Coyote - 2011-09-19 06:51

    poor little thing.. ALL Poachers should be shot DEAD on the spot! NO MERCY!

      Christo Stone - 2011-09-19 07:14

      Agreed...they don't deserve to live amongst us and our beautiful country.

  • Nico - 2011-09-19 07:02

    Bastards bastards bastards bastards . May God deal with these inhuman piece of creations that was Gods only mistake.!!!!

  • Ian - 2011-09-19 07:21

    news 24, this was reported days ago and now you reporting it again

      Peter Potgieter - 2011-09-19 07:32

      The story was put on on sunday night, that was a day after the calf died, it was only a day, so why you making a thing a bout it... you over exagerate... you talking as if it happened a week ago or something. 1 day does not matter. If you don't like it being puclished maybe you should of not read the article. Seems like you had a bad weekend!!!!

      steve - 2011-09-19 07:58

      Some people dont read the news on the day it was published. take a chill pill

  • tokoziza - 2011-09-19 07:27

    So very very sad. Words fail me. All I can say is that I sincerely hope those poachers are caught and that they rot in hell!

  • J - 2011-09-19 07:42

    It will take time and work, but someone with media muscle needs to take this to government with petition from the public and get this STOPPED. Enough is enough. News24 will you start this ball rolling???

  • steve - 2011-09-19 08:00

    Catch and poison them, don't waste bullets on them they pieces of trash.

  • Verdade - 2011-09-19 08:01

    This is sad! To the poachers... I hope you die a similiar death, in fact I will be quite happy to crack your skulls too!

  • Mich - 2011-09-19 08:45

    This is just such a sad story.... I hope those poachers burn in hell!

  • The Dude - 2011-09-19 09:17

    I fckin hate these sick mofos .. they need to be tortured then fed to the animals..

  • GuyverXT9 - 2011-09-19 09:17

    F************ poachers. They deserve the death penalty, nothing less. They have no respect for the life of another being. They are pathetic, and an insult to humanity as a whole.

  • siren703 - 2011-09-19 09:23

    Heartbreaking ? cant imagine how the poor baby must have felt when its mother went SAD. Sometimes i wish that all the animals in the world would die out, then maybe when its too late will we superior vile creatures realise their wonder and importance (at least then they wouldn’t have to endure the endless torture we keep enforcing on them). Watched something this weekend that made me just as angry.....the f*&@ed up Asians trap black bears and drain their bile as this too is believe to be good for their sex lives as well as other medicinal uses, when the bear no longer produces bile its killed and body parts sold off!!! People are sickening!

  • KaB - 2011-09-19 09:28

    Such sad always have a little bit of hope that an animal would survive such a traumatic experience. When will the senseless slaughtering of our wildlife end...when will government act and when will justice prevail?!? I am so sick and tired of reading these sad the dark hour of the future of our wildlife, there does not seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel! Hope this little one is at peace!

  • Hayley Finnegan - 2011-09-19 09:47

    They need to catch the pathetic excuse for human beings and cut off their arms. If we had the same punishments as the arab states, there would be less crime in SA

  • Jason - 2011-09-19 10:18

    You poaching sons of b1tches will have to answer to the BIG guy one day!!

  • Sharon - 2011-09-19 10:25

    To any of you that are on Facebook, please join our group - "Outraged SA Citizens against poaching" - we are desperately trying to put an end to this problem.

  • shortfinal - 2011-09-19 10:44

    Sad indeed….again. There has been many and there will be more, without a doubt. Venting our anger and frustration on sites like these serves little purpose other than to makes us feel better. Nobody is going to count all the angry replies and take a vote that will solve the problem. Instead, why not do something constructive and positive. There are many organization that are actively involved in addressing the problem. Look at sites like World Wildlife Fund, Endangered Wild Trust, SANPARKS HONORARY RANGERS. Do something active and stop being a spectator from the sideline. Help raise funds, donate , serve, protest at court hearings, give the plight international exposure. Get involved people!!!

  • Ryan - 2011-09-19 11:03

    kill a poacher. its the right thing to do

  • Keith3663 - 2011-09-19 11:03

    I normally do not agree with mob justice or kangaroo courts ... but for this type of vermin, they should be set loose to run the gauntlet. The wheel turns, albeit slowly ...

  • Ederik - 2011-09-19 11:07

    We can do something to hurt the Chinese. Stop buying their products! Next time you buy anything, first check where it was made, and if it was made in China or P.R.O.C (Peoples Republic of China, DO NOT BUY IT. They are making a fortune out of this Rugby World cup out of us. Most of the shirts, flags, caps etc came from them. STOP BUING CHINA STUFF!

  • Anna-Cecilia - 2011-09-19 12:03

    Absolutely sickening and upsetting. If you live in Cape Town join the peaceful lunchtime gathering at 12h00 outside Parliament on National Rhino Day Thursday 22 September. The aim is to highlight the tragic plight of these majestic creatures. Join us and make your voice heard. Wear something red and feel free to bring a relevant placard.We can't wait for someone else to do something. We can at least speak for them!

  • ChantsB - 2011-09-19 12:11

    This makes me sick!!! Even the death penalty is to good for these b@stards!!!! They should be caught and their hands should be cut off. Rhino use their horns for protection as humans use their hands. Their hands should be cut leaving them defenseless ans well as helpless.

  • nefa - 2011-09-19 12:27

    I'm so sad and infuriated!!! So incredibly sick and tired of these disgusting excuses for humans.

  • Ryan - 2011-09-19 13:27

    This is so sad.. the poor little guy.. All this talk of these poachers facing judgment day and rotting in hell makes me want to believe in God.. BUT just in case their is no after life. lets make their days on earth hell...

  • susan.trocki - 2011-09-19 15:55


  • CatClawz - 2011-09-19 17:13

    Blow up the vile Asian continent with all the filthy Asian inbreds and this problem will cease to exist! Then hunt down the poaching syndicates and inbred poachers who carry out these atrocities - hack off all four limbs and their noses. Let them all bleed to death in pain and agony... just like these poor animals die. They are human faeces.

  • Thandeka - 2011-09-22 09:30

    This story broke my heart , i have been following this story online, my condolances go out to those men who worked so hard to save the little Rhino Calf you guys are big heros. Keep up the hard and long hours of hard work you give back, and one day this thing will come to an end of killing poor animals that cant protect themselves.

  • hadedah - 2012-02-20 16:39

    Why did'nt the owner of the farm use a bit of intelligence and cut one side of the fork in the tree off. thereby freeing the calf. Not a very intelligent person, that was the most obvious thing to do.... Maybe he will get caught in the fork of a tree next time with nobody around to help him.

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