Day 8 in Africa. Today we are back with Dr. Johan and Zoe from Saving the Survivors, supported by local Vet Louis Greeff. Whilst it is always amazing to spend time with these pioneering veterinarians, sadly, our meeting was again the result of a poaching incident.
We travelled to the Thabazimbie area in the Limpopo province of South Africa, where there is currently a very local spike in poaching. In the last 2 weeks alone there have been 13 Rhinos poached! We arrived at the farm and could see 3 Rhinos, all about 2 and a half years old. It was immediately obvious which was today’s patient. There were 2 bulls and a cow; one of the bulls had an injury similar to that which we had seen on “Seha” earlier in the week, his face literally hacked into. Originally there were 4 Rhino here, all orphans who had lost their mothers at a young age to poaching. This small group of orphans, having individually already witnessed there mothers brutal murder, where now the target of poachers once again! One evening the farmer left the property for just a short time, in this small window of opportunity the poachers entered the farm and started their heartless attack on these defenseless babies! Shooting 2 of the rhinos, one was killed immediately and its horn hacked out, the other victim, was not killed by the bullets, but this did not stop the poachers! They hacked at the rhino’s face as it struggled to get away, many blows missing the horn and slashing the rhino open around the eye. They shot him again in the head, but this was still not fatal, they managed to hack off the larger front horn, taking much of his face with it and then we believe the farmer returning disturbed them. The farmer told us that he could see which way the poachers exited the property from the trail of blood which will have been dripping from the horns that they had just butchered and stolen! Dr. Johan and Zoe have again been treating this survivor with ground-breaking techniques. With this particular Rhino they attach rubber, like lacing a shoe to close the injury, then they stitched on a patch of Elephant skin with metal wire and staples to cover the wound. Twice this week we have been privileged to witness these truly inspirational medical professionals at work! We are honored and excited by the prospect of Project Red assisting and aiding Saving the survivors to allow them to focus on carrying out this great work! If you want to help, please donate at the top of our page. 100% of all funds go to the cause. #timeforaction