Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
(Cape Town, South Africa - 28 May 2003)
- Reading like an adventure novel, a midnight dash to save a tiny
black rhino (Diceros
bicornis) has hopefully saved the life of a member of one of the
world's most endangered species.
The mercy mission saw the male rhino,
nicknamed Kapçla - "the
one who came too soon" - wrapped in a duvet, and held fast in
the arms of Karen Trendler, one of South Africa's leading wildlife
rehabilitators, as a mercy mission rushed through the night to move
the rhino from the Kruger National Park to the Wildcare Africa Trust.
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW - www.ifaw.org), which
supports Wildcare, said the rescue had hopefully saved the
life of the rhino, which had been born premature and was unable
to suckle from its mother.
It is an enormous acknowledgement of Karen's skills as a specialist
rehabilitator of rhino, that a world renowned national park like
Kruger called on her to help in this emergency," said Jason
Bell-Leask, IFAW Southern Africa Regional Director. "IFAW applauds
the pragmatic approach of South African National Parks in choosing
to use an independent specialist, rather than risk the life of a
member of a species that is endangered almost to extinction."
3,100 black rhino remain in Africa, more than 1,179 of them in
South African game reserves. In some African countries they are
completely extinct. Between 1970 and 1992, numbers of blacks rhinos
fell by 96 per cent, from approximately 65,000 to 2,300, mostly
Trendler said she had high hopes for
the long-term future of the baby black rhino, which weighed just
18 kilograms (39 pounds)
was less than knee high when he arrived at Wildcare's rehabilitation
centre just outside Pretoria.
Kapçla was desperately ill when he arrived here and for the
first two weeks it was touch and go as to whether he would survive
but he has pulled through so far, and is now learning to play and
goes for walks every day," said Trendler.
Kapçla is the
sixth black rhino calf that Trendler is rearing and the 27th rhino
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