Poachers in Zimbabwe shot a young black baby rhino after killing the mother. That baby rhino has been nursed back to health.
A heavy-caliber rifle was used to shoot the 16-month-old calf. Members of the Lowveld Rhino Trust (LRT) found the calf limping while out on patrol in the Bubye Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe.
The volunteers who cared for the animal named her Pumpkin, and the rhino has been given a clean bill of health.
According to a spokesperson from the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), Natasha Anderson, the little rhino had plenty of personality.
She went on to say that Pumpkin was frightened without her mother and in some pain, but the team was confident they would help her to recover from the bullet wounds. They could tell that she was a real fighter.
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Charity workers were there to assist the veterinarians and other professionals who worked on her injuries, which were considered to be “quite severe.” Infection was prevented when they used antibiotics to clear the wounds before she was taken to an area that was specifically constructed for her recovery. It would protect her from hyenas and lions.
The staff was able to comfort Pumpkin by making “rhino” noises and giving her lots of playtime.
Natasha said they called her “Princess Pumpkin” because she would throw tantrums if something didn’t go her way and she had picky eating habits.
They also discovered tracks encircling her enclosure, letting them know that Pumpkin was receiving visits at night from Rocky, another orphaned rhino.
It took weeks of care, but Pumpkin’s leg continued to heal and after being released, they found her scent with Rocky’s.
Natasha thinks the rhinos will join up and live together since they both lost their mothers to poaching.
The black rhino population is still critically endangered, although they have increased to 5630 in Africa, up from 5500 in 2019.
Nina Fascione, IRF’s executive director, said it requires constant monitoring to keep up with the rhino population.
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