Rhino calf born at Western Cape game reserve, months after mother injured by poachers

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Only a few months after a rhino survived a poaching incident that left four others dead, she has given birth to a baby. (Supplied)
Only a few months after a rhino survived a poaching incident that left four others dead, she has given birth to a baby. (Supplied)
  • A baby rhino has been born at a Western Cape game reserve.
  • The calf’s mother was seriously injured in a poaching incident in December.
  • Four other rhinos were killed and dehorned in the attack.

Only a few months after a rhino survived a poaching incident that left four others dead, she has given birth to a calf.

The rhino cow was badly injured during a poaching incident at Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve in December, but gave birth to a baby boy rhino.

The baby rhino was spotted by a ranger on Saturday.

The poaching incident was discovered by the reserve’s anti-poaching team on 8 December 2021. They found five rhinos had been shot, while on regular patrols around 22:30. Two had already succumbed to their injuries, while another two died shortly afterwards, Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve owner Searl Derman previously told News24.

READ | R100 000 reward for info on rhino 'massacre' in Western Cape reserve

"The four dead rhinos had had their horns brutally removed." said Derman.

One of the dead rhinos had also been pregnant.

Large calibre rifle rounds from weapons with silencers were reportedly identified on the scene.

After the incident, the game reserve offered a R100 000 reward for information that could led to the arrest of the poachers.

Derman said:

During those first few days following the despicable crime, several arrests were also made by the SAPS supported by Cape Nature, and the private investigative teams that were deployed minutes after confirmation of the incident.

The game reserve assembled a team of specialists to care for the injured rhino and reconstruct her damaged face.

"Under the guidance and supervision of specialist and renowned veterinarian Douw Grobler, the injured female was constantly monitored, and finally stabilized enough to perform a series of reconstructive procedures to reassemble parts of her face that had been badly injured by a close-range high calibre rifle shot," explained Derman.

The rhino gave birth to a healthy calf on Saturday. The baby rhino was first spotted by one of the Inverdoorn rangers, out on an early morning game drive, struggling in an aardvark hole.

"The onsite team managed to pull the baby rhino free from the hole without any injury and identified it as a baby male rhino calling for his mother," said Derman.

The calf was soon reunited with his mother.

Only a few months after a rhino survived a poachin
Only a few months after a rhino survived a poaching incident that left four others dead, she has given birth to a baby. (Supplied)
Supplied

For the safety of the mother and calf, they will be monitored by the game reserve’s 24-hour Rapid Rhino Response Team.

"The miraculous birth of this little boy is a joyous moment and celebrated throughout wildlife circles and the global rhino conservation community. Just a few short months ago, we were under immense pressure to save the mother’s life, now we see the miracle of an added life," said Derman.


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