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SOS Rhino : In the News : Archived News : September 2001 : Wildcare Orphans

Wildcare Orphans

E'news & Wildcare
September 12, 2001

Wildcare has received four rhino calves in less than four weeks, bringing the number of rhino up to 9 again! We just seem to move them out and their places are rapidly filled by new casualties and calves.

‘Lucky’ , the latest rhino arrival weighed less than 35 kg on arrival, was severely dehydrated, underweight, struggling to breathe and urinating through the umbilicus ; her feet were torn and rotting , her little ears still rolled up …..she looked just like a foetus….which she was having being prematurely born. We couldn’t believe that she survived the journey to the centre and were even more surprised when she survived the first night. But Lucky is a little fighter and she has battled along with us to keep going. Her weight is up, her lungs have cleared and the urinary problem has come right……..and she loves her daily walks and is mad about Mike, our centre manager, who has spent the past three weeks by her side.

Kali - the little three week old, comes from the Kalahari and was part of a rescue operation funded by IFAW. Rhino calves, especially tiny tots require very intensive and specialized care and facilities, which were not available on the game farm where she was found orphaned. Delays in transport and in receiving her could have led to her death and it was decided that a special rescue was needed. A horsebox was specially kitted out and Mike and Roy traveled undertook the grueling journey to fetch and stabilize her. This type of operation requires rapid response and mobilization of resources - thanks to IFAW again. Thanks Dr Douw Grobler for telephonic advice and moral support.

Kayla, a three month old from the Rhino and Lion Park was bought to Wildcare when she continued to weaken and lose weight - her mom just didn’t have enough milk. Kayla has responded well to the care and is rapidly gaining weight and energy.

An 18 month old male rhino calf was bought to us by Grant Tracy - his mom died as a result of septicaemia and the poor little guy watched as hyaenas devoured her and then started chasing him. He was so stressed and frightened on arrival , that in spite of tranquillisation and special handling, he just wanted to get away – breaking through boma walls and electric fences. He finally calmed down when we put an older female in with him.

Four of our other handraised rhinos are due to be moved back to game farms in the next few weeks for the next stage of their rehabilitation .

Source: E'news and update from Wildcare, September 01



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