Monday, May 25, 2015
A life for a horn.........
The 4 year old white rhino named Hope was attacked in Lombardini, a wildlife preserve in Eastern Cape Provence, South Africa and staff found her several days later horribly wounded. Poachers had darted her and while she was sedated, they hacked off her horn and left her to live or die.
Hope did not die and last week veterinarians worked to save her life. They removed dead tissue and maggots from the wound that measured 20 by 11 inches long, the largest they have worked to close in recent years. The team has worked on at least ten rhinos with similar injuries in the past three years as well as having to euthanize many others who were too badly injured to save.
The vets applied fresh dressings and a fiberglass cast that was screwed into place to cover her fractured nasal bone. They believe that it may take up to year before she is well enough to return to the wild and her care is estimated at about $75,000 or more if she does survive. it is hoped that she will get well enough to return to the wild and reproduce as Thandi, another rhino who has survived an attack 2012 has done.
South Africa is home to the largest population of rhinos in the world and while great strides have been made in protecting them, it is not enough. There are still hundreds of them slaughtered for their horns and some parks have gone to the extreme of removing the horns themselves to try and remove them as potential targets. Sadly, many are still found alive with horrific injuries from their horns being hacked off but few have a chance to survive the butchery. They are more often shot with bullets rather than sedated and they are often not found soon enough to save them.
The struggle to save majestic creatures from extinction because of human greed is a battle that must be won......