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Grace, New Rhino Orphan Arrival

April 19, 2016


On Saturday, the team received a call from Madikwe Game Reserve requesting assistance for a young calf that had been seen wondering alone for a few days. The rangers searched desperately for the mother but were unable to locate her. So the team geared up and left as soon as possible to retrieve the poor orphan.

The calf, named Grace after one of the rangers that found her, is around 8 months old. The teams main concern was dehydration and lethargy due to the amount of time she had spent alone. First priority was to restore hydration by getting Grace to take oral fluids and slowly introduce her to our milk formula.

Our strong little Grace has been a superstar! She is now taking her electrolytes and milk (and asking for more!), as well as eating the supplemental dry food. More positives- defecation and urination!

Grace sustained a few superficial abrasions during her 4 day ordeal and has a minor abrasion injury to both of her eyes, the residual eye ointment is evident on her face in some of the pictures. We sometimes see this in calves after running through thick vegetation and they usually make a full recovery.

She is still quite weak at this stage as the poor girl has been through a very traumatic and exhausting week, but with a great deal of nursing, love and around the clock care we are seeing a steady improvement and fingers crossed she continues to do well, but we are not quite out of the woods yet.

We will keep you posted over the next few days with her progress. Once Grace’s conditions improve we will be introducing her to Kabelo and Kabira.

NB: The calves are blindfolded and have ear plugs placed in during transport and the introduction process to minimise external stimuli to decrease stress and decrease the chance of early arousal from the anaesthetic drugs.