MBOMBELA – A three-year-old baby rhino still on the road to recovery after its mother was poached, was shot in cold blood and hacked to pieces at the safe haven it was kept at this weekend.
Founder of Care for Wild Africa, Ms Petronel Nieuwoudt, is devastated. It was a shocking scene when they discovered the rhino still in its boma. Not only had the animal’s horns been hacked off, but its front legs had also been severed, probably for muti purposes.
It is suspected that the poachers struck between 02:00 and 04:00 on Friday. Employees of the rehabilitation centre made the gruesome discovery later that morning. The calf was kept in a boma separately from the other orphaned rhino.
It was initially brought to Care for Wild Africa as it had suffered a bullet wound to the buttocks. Its mother was poached in a private game reserve and the calf was wounded in the process. Nieuwoudt on enquiry said that the remaining animals are doing well and that the centre will continue fighting the good fight.
Since the beginning of the year 37 rhino have been poached in private reserves in Mpumlanga. Poachers have been relentless since last week with incidents taking place across the province. The full-moon period is always a challenging time.http://lowvelder.co.za/212960/orphaned-rhino-poached-safe-haven/