In March 2012, three rhinos, one female and two male, were found grievously injured after a deadly poaching attack in the Kariega Game reserve in South Africa. They were left for dead until rescued by people from the reserve, sayssapeople.com.
While one male succumbed to its injuries immediately, the surviving rhinos were taken into the care of veterinarian Dr William Fowlds. The male rhino was named Themba and female Thandi. However, Themba died 24 days after bravely battling for his life, making Thandi the lone survivor of the attack, her scars a grim reminder to the despicable act she endured.
However, Thandi’s caretakers had reason to celebrate this year with the wonderful news of her pregnancy. Thandi, which reportedly means ‘courage or one who is to be loved’ in the isiXhosi language, successfully gave birth to a calf on January 13, 2015. The calf is now known as the rhino that should never have been born.
Watch Thandi’s journey of near-death and moving forward to bring new life into the world:
Thandi’s story is testament to how animals in the wild are vulnerable to brutal acts of poaching.
According to reports, South Africa, which has over 80% of the world’s rhinoceros, had lost a record 1,215 rhinos last year, which is about a 20% rise over the 2013 numbers. In 2015, alone, 49 rhinoceros have been killed due to poaching.
India too has a considerable rhino population, most of whom are found in Kaziranga National Park in Assam. However, India lost 109 rhinos to poaching, according to reports.
There is great demand for the rhino horn from China, Vietnam and a few other Southeast Asian countries. Reports say that rhino horns are worth more than gold and platinum with a kilo fetching around $65,000. Thandi’s case has raised awareness to save animals in the wild from brutality.