Skip to content

Nandi, Heroes Rhino Week

October 19, 2019

Hero Rhinos Week * Day 6 – Nandi

The seasons of 2015/2016 saw a serious drought hitting South Africa, and if poaching wasn’t bad enough, the climate took its toll on all wildlife, especially orphaned calves. Over the years we have noticed that calves under stress will often revert to sand-eating, a form of displacement behaviour we believe. Large amounts of sand in the gut may prove fatal for rhinos. Receiving surgery to rectify damage caused by sand colic may be equally fatal. These kind of situations with calves are very serious. A miracle rhino calf that survived both, was little Nandi, a 2 month old white rhino calf who lost her mom to poachers and compulsively ate sand.

Shortly after her arrival, Nandi suddenly lost her spunk, becoming quiet, laying down most of the time, didn’t want to take her milk and started showing the tell – tale signs of colic. She was sent to Onderstepoort Veterinary Faculty where the diagnosis wasn’t good. She had a massive amount of sand in the gut and had to go under the knife. Thankfully the surgery went well and the vets were positive about her recovery. After about 10 days at the hospital Nandi could return home.

But after she came home and under very strict instructions from the vets, her condition went from bad to worse. The little rhino started getting incredible gut pain, so bad that she had to be tranquilized to get her to calm down. Our vet dr Pierre said that the area of incision in her gut was tightening as it healed and therefor caused a lot of pain when she ate. The colic became so bad that he considered ending her suffering by euthanazing her. But not before the Team gave her one last shot at getting better. She was kept on strong medication and her diet was very carefully managed. Dr Pierre suggested allowing her on small walks to play, get exercise and fresh air. He said a playful rhino is a happy rhino, emotionally and physically. In time this proved all that she needed, bush, play and TLC.

Today, over 3 years old, Nandi is still a feisty, spunky rhino with lots of rhino friends, a new lease on life and the second chance she deserved. It was touch n go, but she still goes strong ❤️