Rhino calf treated for suspected gunshot

June 2021
Rhino calf darted to treat deep neck wound

Wild Wonderful World were called to support an operation in the Manyeleti recently to treat an injured rhino calf, with a suspected gunshot wound to the neck/ shoulder. Both the calf, aged between 15-18 months old and the mother required sedating (as the cow would not leave the calf so both required immobilization in order to treat the calf). From afar, the rhino calf looked like it had been shot in the shoulder and a severe wound had formed.

The rhino's were located first by air using a light aircraft and then darted using a R44 helicopter. Once both animals were safely sedated, the vets inspected the wound and concluded that it was in fact not a gunshot wound, but an injury likely caused by another rhino. At 15-18 months old, the calf's mother would be coming into regular oestrus and the suggested cause of injury was that the calf perhaps got in the way of a mating session and a rhino bull chased it away aggressively, causing the severe injury.

The neck/ shoulder injury itself was a deep pocket that had become highly infected. The operation proceeded smoothly and without complications. The wound was cleaned extensively and infected materials removed/ flushed and the surrounding edge of the wound cleaned thoroughly as well, to stop flies getting attracted to the area. The wound was then sprayed with Debrizyme spray to aid in wound healing and for the removal of necrotic tissue, and the outside of the wound applied with F10 insecticidal wound ointment to again assist with keeping flies away. Systemic antibiotics, inflammatory and a vitamin booster were all injected, and the calf and cow woken up again.

A successful operation to keep this young rhino calf on his feet - we have to do everything we can to save this highly endangered species! A huge thank you to our Wild Wonderful World donors whose generous donations made supporting this operation possible.

To support operations like this and many other emergency procedures, we would be most grateful for any value of donation, which can be made on our Shop for Wildlife page.

Click HERE to donate.

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