A rhino which survived an attack by poachers in the Eastern Cape has fallen pregnant, the Kariega Game Reserve, outside Port Elizabeth, said on Monday.
The pregnancy of the rhino, named Thandi, came as people remembered former President Mandela, a man of hope, said the reserve’s general manager Alan Weyer.
“As a nation and as individuals, we will forever be inspired by his strength and courage in the fight for what is right,” he said.
Weyer said the pregnancy was a small step towards winning the fight against poaching, but that the reserve remembered Mandela’s words when he said: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
The rhino survived an attack in which two bulls died at the reserve on March 2 last year.
Poachers tranquillised all three rhino with darts, and hacked off their horns, leaving them to bleed to death. One of the bulls died in the course of the night, but the other two were found alive and treated by wildlife veterinarian Dr William Fowlds.
“Their strength and courage prompted our rangers to name the surviving bull Themba and the cow Thandi — the isiXhosa words meaning hope and love respectively,” Fowlds said.
The bull later died. The cow’s wounds reopened this year in a suspected attack by a rhino bull, and it had to be operated on.
“Her story has touched the lives of so many people across the globe and her courage is reflected in our love for her and the species that she represents. The prospects of a successful pregnancy and birth represent the hope of survival,” said Fowlds.
“In a crisis which threatens us with despair, that hope, as insignificant as it may seem for some, is what we cling to for dear life,” he said. More....