An orphaned Timbavati rhino calf whose mother was slaughtered for her horns last week is adapting well at a specialist wildlife rehabilitation centre.
Veterinary surgeon Dr Ferreira du Plessis and wildlife management manager Ertjies Röhm of the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) joined forces with Dr Greg Simpson of the University of Pretoria and veterinary students as well as commercial pilot Benjamin Osmers, were part of the group who rescued the calf.
They were busy with an operation in the Manyeletsi area when they were informed of a poaching incident at Timbavati Game Reserve in Mpumalanga.
A rhino cow had been shot dead and both her horns removed. She had a six-month-old female calf, which needed to be fed every three hours.
Officials went to the scene and found it near the adult’s carcass.
emergency nutrient replacements
Röhm darted the calf and Du Plessis immediately administered a glucose drip.
It was nearly dusk and the animal was far from the vehicles. Osmers immediately made his helicopter available. Four men had to pick up the calf of between 130 to 150kg and she was fastened into the back of the aircraft.
She was flown to the parked vehicles and transported in the back of a university bakkie.
The crew from the Care for Wild Africa based near Barberton, Mpumalanga, met them at Hazyview and the rhino was loaded into a crate on her vehicle.
Du Plessis escorted the calf and monitored its vital signs. The calf, who was in relatively good shape, was named Timbi as she came from Timbavati.
By Nicolene Smalman. Source: The Citizen