Southern White Rhino

6 month old Baby Rhino survives Lion attack

Impi is a 6-month-old Southern White Rhino heifer who now lives at The Rhino Orphanage. She suffered a lion attack a while ago. The brave baby Rhino suffered an injury to her right leg, in particular her stifle joint, before eventually managing to chase the lions away.

Veterinarians managed to treat her wound and bring the infection under control. However, poor Impi still suffers a limp and has an abnormal gait. The local vet asked us to take radiographs and help assess the affected limb.


With the mother immobilised and calf sedated, we found that there is unfortunately severe damage in the stifle joint. One piece of the bottom femur is even completely missing! This is likely a result of lions biting it out completely during the attack.


We will be consulting with colleagues and even human orthopaedic surgeons to get several opinions on what we can do to help this little Rhino. We hope she will go on to live a normal life and hopefully one day have calves of her own.


This is another example of our pioneering work, where a situation has not been encountered and we have to think outside of the box to find a solution.


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