Baby rhino hacked with panga

Posted by Kati Auld on 16 January 2013

The Endangered Wildlife Trust has drawn attention to a horrible attack on a baby rhino this week. It seems that the baby tried to return to its mother’s body when poachers were removing the horn, and suffered 18 deep gashes to the face. These wounds are assumed to have been inflicted by an axe and panga. Despite the extent of her injuries (including a laceration which cuts right through to her skull) she is recovering “remarkably well” according to Karen Trendler of the Endangered Wildlife Trust. A rhino orphanage outside Mokopane is taking care of  the newly-named “Ntombi” until she recovers fully.

Rhino-poaching has had a huge impact on our wildlife over a relatively short period of time. In 2007, only 13 rhinos were poached. Since then, this number has increased exponentially each year: last year’s casualties come to a total of 686. In 2013 alone, five rhino have been poached.

There is still hope though. Swaziland lost 80% of its rhino population in the 1980s due to poachers with AK47s. Since the introduction of strict conservation laws in 1992, only two rhinos have been poached in Swaziland, and the population has had a chance to grow.

Let’s hope that with committed public support, our government and parks organisations will be able to stop this scourge before the South African rhino becomes entirely extinct.

If you’d like to help:

  • Click here for 7 easy ways to support our rhinos
  • Click here for our recommendations of the best rhino fundraising organisations

(To end on a sweeter note, here are some pictures of Ntombi recovering at the orphanage.)

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