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Duane, New White Rhino Calf Rescued

June 21, 2021

New Arrival Duane

Late on Friday night an orphaned 7 month old white rhino calf was brought to the Orphanage after a brutal poaching incident. The little boy was besides himself, fighting in the trailer the entire night. Our vet dr Pierre came to assist with the offloading early on Saturday. The blindfolded baby was placed on an IV line as dehydration is the norm. It is suspected that he was alone for around 3 days.

Our carers worked around the clock to try and get little Duane on milk and finally around 1am on Sunday morning he took the bottle. His blindfold was removed on Sunday afternoon but the traumatized calf did not tolerate any humans in with him. Our carers kept on trying to give him milk and luckily he is drinking through the barrier. They can still not go in with him and there will be long hours ahead for rhino and carers. We are keeping a close watch for any signs of colic due to impaction as a result of dehydration. Gastric ulcers caused by stress will also be a possibility. Please keep him in your thoughts.


23 June 2021 – Update
Since Duane’s arrival last Friday night, the little boy has calmed down tremendously, although he is still incredibly nervous. We have been waiting patiently for faeces to asses whether he has eaten sand or developed gastric ulcers.

He has warmed up to his carer quickly and we have decided to take him outside into the adjoining boma and introduce a second carer. We have left some of the other rhino’s faeces in the boma to stimulate defecation and it instantly had the desired effect. His faeces looks very good and although slightly compact, there is no detectable sand or signs of ulcers. Our management team is now discussing the next move – when and to who he will be introduced.

26 June 2021 – Update
Newest orphans Duane and Robynne have been formally introduced. Duane was extremely scared of her and kept on bellowing, mock charging and being defensive. Robynne stood her ground however as she felt more brave with the “stranger” being slightly smaller than her. She was very inquisitive at first but soon became hesitant as Duane kept going for her. Our carers eventually got both babies to lie down and sleep a few feet from each other and it seems like it will take some convincing for them to warm up. There were a few instances that they touched faces nervously without aggression so we are deadset on getting them to be friends.