The Hoedspruit Endangered Species centre is a place with a mission which is to help African wild life survive and thrive in the modern world. With a rehabilitation and release program alongside a volunteer work program the centre really makes a difference. Two of the residents have a sad back story described in at the centre as follows ..
Meet Lion's Den and Dingle Dell - two white rhinos being nursed back to health at the centre. Their story began on 30th August 2013, when an unnamed reserve discovered that they had been struck by poachers and three of their rhinos had been darted and dehorned. Unfortunately, the rhino bull did not make it, but the two cows managed to survive despite being brutally mutilated. The horns had been cut off with a chain-saw, but this left the animals' sinus canals open and exposed, posing a massive threat.
On 4th September, the rhinos were located, darted and sedated. Their wounds were examined and treated before they were moved to the HESC to be rehabilitated.
Every 3 weeks, a team of specialists and members of the HESC join forces to treat Lion's Den and Dingle Dell's wounds. The rhinos are sedated and their wounds are cleaned and checked. A cast is then secured over the area to prevent dirt, bacteria or flies from getting in. Unfortunatly, it hasn't been easy. As the wounds start to heal, it gets itchy and the rhino's natural instinct is to rub their noes against trees etc. The team must keep checking to make sure that the cast is not damaged and if it is , they must replace the cast as soon as possible before flies and dirt can slow down the healing process.
What does the future hold for Dingle Dell and Lions Den?
The rhinos will stay at HESC until there wounds are sealed and the horn is properly healed after which the team will decide on the future. It is our greatest wish that out of this tragedy we will have a story of hope and perseverance. Should Lions Den give birth to a healthy baby even after the terrible ordeal that she has endured, she will be monitored closely throughout her pregnancy to ensure the well-being of her new born calf.
You can contribute to Lions Den and Dingle Dell's well-being by making a donation to our rhino fund. You can make a donation on our webpage or follow the rhinos progress on our blog help us to ensure their is a tomorrow.
Sadly this is not a unique situation as this Saving the Survivors web page testifies.
Eating a computer does not make you think quicker and eating a boat won't make you a better swimmer and in the same way eating rhino horn won't make your willy big.
A happier chap in Hluhluwe game park.