Article by: Ntando Mncube
10-year-old rhino, Sehawukele, named by his rescuers, returned to the wild on Monday, after
30 operations over six years to repair the gash in his face.The rhino’s horn was brutally hacked off.
According to media reports, Sehawukele which means “God have mercy on us”, was found by
police stumbling near a fence in a reserve, so disfigured that he could barely hear or eat.
The police then called in John Marais, a wildlife vet who runs a charity called Saving the survivors which rehabilitates rhinos that survive poaching attacks.
“He has actually healed exceptionally well…I think this is the next chapter where we are going to re-wild him in a 2,000-hectare camp where we have put two females of breeding age with him,” said Marais.
Media reports suggest that Seha’s sinus cavities are still exposed, creating a risk of infection even after
the many operations.
In hopes of preventing future attacks, Seha’s rescuers are keeping his exact location a secret.
It is reported that poachers killed at least 249 rhinos in South Africa during the first six months
of 2021 and 83 more than in the first half of 2020.
The full-year numbers aren’t available yet, but 24 were killed in just two weeks of December.
Rhinos are slaughtered for their horns, which are smuggled into Asia where they are highly
prized for traditional and medicinal purposes.
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