The South African Veterinary Association (SAVA) hosted its third and final workshop for 2013 on Friday 18 October in Cape Town.
The national workshops, sponsored by the Veterinary Rhino Rescue Fund, were aimed at equipping vets generally used to working in small or mixed animal environments with guidelines on how to deal with the specifics of rhino poaching injuries should they encounter them.
As the spiral of poaching incidents continues, it is estimated that for every 5 deaths, one rhino will survive and is often left without treatment due to lack of knowledge and resources.
Rhinos are not alone in their struggle.
Ivory poaching is once again on the increase, and it is expected its impact will soon be felt in South Africa as elephant numbers are rapidly decreasing in neighbouring countries, so it is essential that vets are adequately prepared.
Calling on vets who are known to be specialists in survivor treatment, topics covered during the training sessions included all aspects of incident management, from informing police and dealing with crime scene forensics to the current thinking in the treatment of survivors as well as the veterinarians’ role in reducing and preventing rhino poaching.
After a day of interactive discussions in Paarl, day two offered a unique practical session for the 40 veterinarians who attended to assess the condition of ‘Lady’ and ‘Higgins’, two white rhinos who survived a poaching incident in December 2011 at Fairy Glen Private Game Reserve near Worcester. More....