Rhino skin graft gets thumbs up

Gareth Wilson

THANDI the white rhino, which survived an attack by poachers at the Kariega Game Reserve, is making a speedy recovery following a groundbreaking skin graft operation last month. The 14- year-old was dehorned during an attack in which two other rhinos were killed in March last year.

One of those two rhinos – Themba – died 20 days after the attack. Then, about two months ago, Thandi was injured during a scuffle by a dehorned bull that was placed in the reserve earlier this year for breeding. The scar tissue on her face where her horns were hacked off was damaged.

In an hour-long skin graft procedure last month – the first time the procedure was conduced on a live rhino – specialists tried to fix the damage.

In a routine check-up yesterday, Thandi was darted to see how the three sample skin grafts that were applied during the test phase had taken.

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