THE “miracle” rhino calf born to Thandi, the Kariega Game Reserve rhino left to die by poachers, has been named Thembi, meaning hope – which is exactly what she represents.
Thembi was named yesterday at an event held three years to the day after the brutal poaching of three rhinos – her mother Themba and an unnamed bull rhino – at Kariega.
The rhinos’ horns were hacked off with pangas by poachers, who left them to die.
The two males died, but Thandi fought for her life and has made an incredible recovery with the aid of numerous operations, including pioneering skin-graft surgery.
In December 2013 blood tests revealed she was pregnant and those involved in her rehabilitation kept a careful watch over her.
Thembi’s birth on January 13 this year was hailed by Investec Rhino Lifeline’s Dr William Fowlds as “a new hope in the South African rhino crisis” being born.
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