Cape Town - A desperate drama is playing out at Aquila Private Game Reserve in the Western Cape, after the birth of the third baby rhino in the past three months.
The two calves born, one in October and the other in mid-December are both thriving. But the third calf, born in the early hours of 31 December, is being rescued from dehydration after being rejected by its mother. The calf was born around 01:00 on Thursday morning.
To further complicate matters the calf has attached itself to the father, who is very aggressive and is making it impossible for Vets to get near the calf.
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Searing temperatures in the Karoo mean that the reserve conservation team are in a race against time to uplift the calf to safety. The calf is in desperate need of nourishment and Vets on the scene are concentrating on darting the father, so that they can reach the calf.
The plan is then to place the calf in the Aquila Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, were it will be under 24-hour-surveillance and the hand rearing process will start with the ultimate aim of reintroducing the calf to the group.
An attempt was made by the reserve team to reintroduce the calf to the mother and this failed as she once again rejected the calf. The calf is up and walking but is clearly needing nourishment as the heat of the day sets in it is imperative that the calf is fed.