White rhino, survivor of poacher violence, gets baby


This video from South Africa says about itself:

4 November 2013

On the 2nd of March 2012, 3 rhinos were poached at Kariega Game Reserve — 1 passed away during the course of the night, Themba passed away twenty four days later and Thandi survived. 16 Months later I went to see Thandi and film her progress for my upcoming film: The Heroes of the Rhino War.

From Wildlife Extra:

Baby White Rhino born to mother that survived horrific poaching attack

Kariega Game Reserve in South Africa announced the birth this week of a baby White Rhino to a mother that had survived a terrible poaching attack that left her without her horn.

Thandi the rhino, whose story was reported on Wildlife Extra, gave birth to her calf in the early morning, witnessed by two Kariega rangers.

Shortly afterwards wildlife vet Dr William Fowlds observed the mother and her calf from a distance and confirmed that both looked well.

Thandi and two male rhinos were discovered in 2012 with their horns brutally removed by machete. They had been tranquillised and left to bleed to death.

The two males did not survive but Thandi endured numerous operations over two years, including pioneering skin graft surgery under the care of Dr Fowlds.

“I am sure that the whole rhino caring community will share in the joy of this amazing birth,” says Fowlds.

“Thandi’s story has always been an incredible testimony of the will to survive against all odds. She represents so much of what her species faces under the current poaching crisis.”

Blood tests revealed that Thandi was pregnant in December 2013. The veterinary team estimated that she could give birth anytime from December 2014. The gestation period of a white rhino is between 15 and 16 months.

All those who had been involved in Thandi’s dramatic story of survival had been waiting anxiously for the past month.

“Her survival has already given us inspiration but the birth of her calf brings a new dimension of hope to the crisis,” says Dr Fowlds, “showing us that a future generation of life is possible if we put our minds and hearts to it.”

South Africa has the largest population of rhinos in the world. However, figures compiled by the South African Department of Environmental Affairs show a dramatic escalation in the number of rhinos being poached.

During 2014, a staggering 1116 rhinos were killed. Over the past five years 3569 rhinos have died at the hands of poachers.

For the safety of Thandi and her calf, the area is off-limits to all visitors. It is important that both rhinos be left undisturbed to ensure that the calf has the best chance of survival.

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