Monday 22 February
We are very sad to announce that Valentine succumbed to her injuries on Sunday night. The lion attack had not only removed her tail but had also damaged her anus and intestine, so that she was not able to defecate and digest her food properly. While we are saddened at her loss, she had been in a lot of pain and her suffering has ended.
Friday 19 February
While LoFo seems to be out of the woods and settling in with his new boma buddies, Valentine continues to be in a critical condition. Vet Dr Fereira has been to Care for Wild Africa Rhino Sanctuary to keep treating her wounds – They require frequent cleaning and new dressing. Valentine has started accepting food and drink but she is still badly dehydrated. CFWA manager Petronel and team are keeping an eye on Valentine day and night, as they are still very worried for her.
Tuesday 16 February
The good news first: LoFo has been doing so well over the weekend that he has been moved to a bigger rhino boma with three other young “rhino lads” of similar age, Donnie, Oz and Warren.
The other sad news is that another orphaned rhino calf of about one year age was brought to Care for Wild Africa Rhino Sanctuary on Sunday. She was named Valentine, on account of her arrival day. Sadly, Valentine is heavily injured. Without the protection of her mother she was attacked and mauled by lions. They tore off part of her tail and caused other injuries. Valentine required surgery to remove the remains of her tail before being able to make the journey to Care for Wild. Initially the team were not optimistic about her chances of survival, but she is doing better than hoped for.
Friday 12 February
LoFo is making steady progress at Care for Wild Africa Rhino Sanctuary. He arrived in terrible condition two days ago: He has a wound from a piece of wood that pierced his front right leg as he was running through the bush, and two deep cuts on his back from a machete as the poachers attempted to break his spine!
When he arrived he was dehydrated, stressed, and in a severe state of shock. Both his temperature and blood glucose levels were low as a result of the shock. He was treated for the dehydration, given fluids, and his wounds were flushed and cleaned thoroughly.
Overnight his breathing stabilised and by the following morning he had begun to settle and show signs of hunger. Later that morning, he began drinking milk from the bottle. Once the effects of his shock had subsided and he began drinking readily, his body temperature returned to normal and his blood glucose level increased!
After two days of being at Care for Wild Africa Rhino Sanctuary, drinking over 2 liters of milk (every 3 hours) with fluids and electrolytes between feeds, LoFo is now much more calm. He is drinking milk on a regular schedule and is having his wounds cleaned on a regular basis. He will be moved into a larger boma ASAP as his condition has improved significantly!
Thursday 11 February
We got more news from the team at Care for Wild Africa Rhino Sanctuary about the little rhino they brought from the Kruger yesterday. It turns out it’s actually a boy and they have named him “LoFo” (He was Lost and now he’s Found). The team worked through the night to get him settled and his wounds attended to. He still has a long way to go, but it’s encouraging that he made it through the night in his traumatised state.
Wednesday 10 February
We just got the call from South Africa that a 7 months old rhino calf has been found in the Kruger, her mother killed by poachers. The calf is in a bad way as poachers attacked her. It looks like they tried to break her spine – probably as she got in the way of them butchering the horn off her mother.
The team from Care for Wild Africa Rhino Sanctuary are on their way to pick up the calf and bring her to the centre for veterinary attention and rehabilitation. This will likely be a very difficult rescue: The calf is already old enough not to be hand-reared by bottle, but the team will need to settle her down and bond with her enough to attend to her wounds.
We do not have any pictures to share yet but will keep you posted as we get more updates.