By Tony Carnie
Two white rhinos – dehorned and bleeding – have been found wandering alive in Weenen nature reserve near Estcourt.
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife officials suspect that the animals were darted and immobilised with a veterinary drug before their horns were hacked off with a saw.
Wildlife vets were due to make a decision late on Thursday on whether to catch and move the injured animals to a boma for specialised care, or to treat them in the bush and leave them to recover on their own.
Ezemvelo spokesperson Musa Mntambo said the rhinos had been spotted on Wednesday.
The incident has aroused suspicions that a “different type of rhino poaching syndicate” has been operating in the reserve, where five other rhinos have been killed and de-horned since last Friday.
Experts were due to assess the animal’s wounds on Thursday.
Ezemvelo vet Dave Cooper said a number of rhinos had survived such wounds in the past.
If the vets decided that the wounds were very deep, the two rhinos would be translocated to Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park’s wildlife bomas where their progress could be observed daily. More....