The birth of a calf to rhino poaching survivor Thandi at the Kariega Game Reserve on Tuesday morning prompted Dr William Fowlds of Investec Rhino Lifeline to observe that “a new hope in the South African rhino crisis has been born”.
Thandi first made headlines in March 2012 when she and two male rhinos were found after their horns were brutally removed with machetes by poachers and they were left to die.
Thandi was the only survivor and has since endured numerous operations, including pioneering skin graft surgery, under the care of wildlife vet Fowlds, who led the team that saved her.
Against all odds, blood tests in December 2013 revealed that Thandi was pregnant. The veterinary team estimated she would give birth last month – the gestation period of a white rhino being between 15 and 16 months.
– Eleanor Douglas-Meyers
For the full story read The Herald, or get the complete newspaper, including comics, classifieds, crosswords and back editions in our e-Edition.