Save the Survivors - Assist Survivors of Rhino poaching
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Hundreds of rhino survive the barbaric poaching of their horns. But their injuries are horrific and vets are often at a loss. Now a dedicated team is going where no vet has gone before.
The Organisation is Saving the Survivors . In order to carry on the work they do , they require Funding.
Our mission to rescue and care for rhinos that have survived poaching attacks is strongly dependent on your kind donations. They need our help to get a second chance. These rhinos have experienced traumatic and horrific injuries and deserve our unconditional help.
Many poached rhinos also leave a small rhino calf behind. Rhino calves stay for up to 3 years with their mother and need for the first 18 months her milk to survive. They have an incredible strong bond between each other. The surviving calves have experience the slaughter of their own mother. We do whatever we can to give these beautiful rhino babies hope and a future.
Help us against the war on poaching. We need your help and assistance to reach out and save our precious animals for generations to come.
Project SAVE THE SURVIVORS was specifically started in 2012 to care and look after rhino that has fallen victim to poaching or traumatic incidents. This includes rhinos that have been wounded, rhinos where the horn has been hacked off, and victims of snaring and traumatic incidents. Rhino survivors are estimated at between 80 and 120 animals per year that will benefit from this project. This number will increase as the amount of poached rhinos increase.
While a few of these animals are brought in to our hospital, most are being treated in the bush in their normal environment as transporting these injured animals are just not possible or feasible. The areas we frequently visit are Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Northern Cape.
RECENT WHITE RHINO POACHING IN THE EASTERN CAPE – ONE SURVIVOR - HOPE
The Eastern Cape has suffered major losses to poaching in the last 20 days. On the 30th of April this year, two white rhino, an adult cow her young calf, were poached at Lombardini Game Farm both animals were shot and killed with a large calibre rifle. The horns of the cow were removed. The senseless killing of the two month old calf was disturbing as the poachers left the calf’s horn intact, but shot him anyway.
Only a week later Lombardini was to suffer another loss when a sub adult white rhino bull was shot, killed and the horns removed, a four year old rhino heifer (female) was missing. She was found in dire condition a couple of days later. Her face was badly mutilated; both horns were savagely hacked off. Although she was still alive, there was serious damage to her face. In the process of removing her horns, the nasal bone was badly fractured and a section completely removed, exposing the sinus cavities and nasal passage, added to that there was a severe infestation of maggots. It is assumed that she was immobilised (darted) with an opioid drug and left to die. Against all odds she survived.
Various Eastern Cape wildlife veterinarians assisted with supportive veterinary treatment and translocated her to holding facilities at a "Game Reserve." Dr Gerhard Steenkamp from the University of Pretoria’s Veterinary Faculty and one of the expert vets from Saving the Survivors, travelled to "The Game Reserve" to assess her condition, upon which it was established that she could indeed be saved and undertook major surgery on Monday 18th May. The damage to her face was severe. The wounds had to cleaned, lots of dead and damaged tissue removed and an artificial cast fitted to cover the extensive wounds. The cast is to prevent damage while looking for food as well as to prevent bacterial infection and maggot infestation.
After surgery she was released from the boma (pens) into a small camp where she can be closely observed, and feed on natural vegetation.
It must be stressed that although her condition has improved the prognosis is still guarded. She is by no means out of danger at present she is getting excellent veterinary care. “She has got a long road ahead of her. We estimate it will take at least a year until the wound is actually healed. We know this through the treatment of Lion Den, who was treated by Dr Johan Marais, who heads up Saving the Survivors and Dr William Fowlds treatment of Thandi. In both cases the will of the animal to Survive proved a telling factor.” Stated Dr Steenkamp
Dr Marias also added “We have successfully treated a rhino in the Freestate that was in a similar condition. So from experience, we believe that she has a fighting chance. With the experience of the Saving the Survivors team in the treatment of poached rhino, we believe that she has a real shot at recovery. The welfare of this rhino is paramount and we will do our utmost to ensure her comfort and survival.”
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