Kariega Game Reserve, Eastern Cape
Update: Saturday 3rd March 8am
3 rhino poached on during the night of 1st or early morning of 2nd March within 200 meters of the tar road 400 meters in site of an owners house. All darted, one dead and 2 survived the poaching. Both responded to opioid reversal and got up. The bull has pressure necrosis of his left hind leg from lying on it and poor blood pressure during down time (blood loss and shock also contribute here). He is the most serious and his leg and other internal damage make his prognosis very guarded.
The female was able to run away from us by the end of the day and is using all four legs well. Her chances seem better. All 3 rhinos horns were removed with pangas/axes. The dead bull possibly had deeper gashes but there were signs of him being alive after the hacking. The facial injuries I believe are treatable if their bodies can make it through the trauma, even though the gashes extend into the sinuses in places. There will be infection/fly strike and other complications ahead and the decision to keep them alive is not an easy one as they face weeks of suffering at the least, with no guarantee of survival.
Both survived the 1st 24 hours and have moved a few hundred meters in the night. Hopefully a positive sign. Please give the Kariega team all the support you can. They are hurting and desperately trying to salvage something from this horrendous situation.