/ 26 March 2012

Rhino dies of infection after poacher attack

A rhino bull, mutilated by poachers three weeks ago, died on Sunday at the Kariega Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape, Beeld newspaper reported on Monday.

Themba, Xhosa for “hope”, had been battling a gangrenous infection in one of his back legs since the attack on March 1.

He died at a watering hole on Sunday morning.

At the time of the attack, poachers administered an overdose of anaesthetic that resulted in the rhino collapsing onto his back leg, cutting off the blood supply, causing tissue death and a serious infection.

Themba, the reserve’s breeding rhino, and a cow, Thandi, Xhosa for “courage”, were both attacked and dehorned. Thandi was less severely injured.

“The whole Kariega team is devastated by Themba’s suffering and death,” Dr William Fowlds, a Grahamstown veterinary surgeon, was quoted as saying. — Sapa