The Medivet Rhino Rehabilitation Enclosure has already provided protection for the young white rhino and poaching survivor, Hope, who required multiple surgeries to reconstruct her face since suffering atrocious injuries in May 2015.
Hope’s journey towards recovery began on 30th April 2015, when she was found in the most horrific condition. Her face was terribly mutilated after being brutally attacked by poachers and left for dead. The Eastern Cape of South Africa suffers severe losses each year due to an illegal and high demand for rhino horns, and Hope is one of too many poaching victims who have suffered needlessly because of this greed.
After being discovered, she was hastily transported to the Shamwari Game Reserve where veterinary experts assessed her condition. After the decision was made that Hope could be saved, major surgery to reconstruct her face was scheduled for Monday 18th May. Her face was cleaned and a shield fixed to protect her. She is continuously observed and monitored by staff at the reserve and is regularly visited by veterinary professionals, including Dr William Fowlds – once a member of the Medivet family.
Unfortunately, 18 months later and after she left the rehabilitation enclosure, Hope sadly passed away. She was severely mutilated when poachers hacked off her horns and left her for dead, and has since become the face of the rhino crisis. Her amazing will to survive, and resilience against incredible odds has inspired many people to fight for their survival. Why she passed so suddenly 18 months after she was poached is still unclear, pending a final autopsy report, but this event reminds us how much more we still have to learn about caring for these magnificent creatures.
Noelle arrived at the Medivet rhino rehabilitation enclosure at the beginning of April 2016. She settled in well and grew to love her carers – especially team member Peta-Lynn who gives excellent chin rubs and belly scratches after feeding time, and not to forget Patrick the sheep who took a foster parent role until Noelle had a rhino companion!
Noelle was sadly joined by a male rhino calf called Winston in May after his mother was also poached nearby. Watch the video to the right to see their progress...