Running to the rescue – that wasn’t
Yesterday early morning we had a report that one of our black rhino bulls, Aphela, has a wound on his face close to his back horn. We had a video footage of the wound from Pondoro lodge, where Robbie kindly and very concerned informed us of the situation. The wound was looking bad. We also could not determine how this wound came about – was it a fight with another rhino, injury by manmade objects, gun shot??? We immediately contacted our best vet, Dr. Pete Rogers. We decided very quickly we need to find our beautiful bull and with help of our software we determined where his heat spot in the reserve is. Not that it means we will find a specific rhino there for sure but it does help.
After a few hours tracking in his last seen location without success we decided to go straight to the heat spot determined by computer programme.
When we approached the hot spot location we quickly spotted 3 lions next to the road. They were big and beautiful. After observing them for a few minutes suddenly a black rhino walks out of the bush right in front of us. And it was Aphela!!! Not only that we now had a visual of him, the lions didn’t seem bothered at all, so there we all were!!
Aphela came carefully right to the car as if he wanted to show us his wound up close. We were able to take good photos for consultation with our vet. We were also able to observe that he has a very good body condition and that he is very alert and mobile… once he smelled the lions he reacted the same way any animal would… he ran! And the lions remained lying down as all lazy cats do.
After consulting with Dr. Rogers, looking at the video and the photos, we decided that we will continue to monitor Aphela closely and if necessary intervene once it is warranted. At the moment crisis avoided and we are all keeping an eye on him and our fingers crossed that an intervention won’t be needed and the wound heals by itself.
We still can’t believe our luck finding Aphela – or better yet, Aphela fining us – and sharing this amazing moment between us, black rhino and lions!!
We will send an update on Aphela soon.
Zala from TA team