Once again Ella and Eric came face to face with the brutal reality of why they are so desperately needed.
When we first received the emergency call, two rhinos had been discovered dead, with their horns cut off. A third was still alive, but tragically she later died whilst we were en-route from the devastating injuries sustained by the bullet, which had shattered her front leg and sent her into shock. We all arrived at the devastating scene of the three dead, poached, rhino.
In the open planes, surrounded by a beautiful mountain range landscape, these poor creatures had their lives and their horns senselessly stolen from them.
Upon arrival, Ella and Eric were ready for action. As soon as Ella disembarked from her vehicle she was completely focused and got to work immediately. Ella quickly picked up a scent from the carcasses and managed to track the escape route of the poachers to their exit point in the surrounding fence. Unfortunately, the elements were not on our side and her tracking was interrupted but a huge hail storm and had to be prematurely cut short.
From examining the bodies it was clear to us that this was a very well-organised and experienced team of poachers, who must have done this cruel act many times before. Luckily the state vets managed to extract bullets from all three bodies, which will be sent off for forensic investigations to see if we can tie this horrific event to any other poaching incidents, and will aid in prosecution when we finally manage to catch these poachers.
As we were packing away our equipment we looked up to the sky and to see three ‘rainbow bridges’ shining down on us, and we said a final farewell to these three magnificent creatures.
This project represents a partnership between Wilderness Foundation Africa, Medivet Saving the Rhino and the Chipembere Rhino Foundation, in support of rhino protection as part of the Forever Wild Rhino Protection Initiative.