Dr. Johan followed up on the healing of this Southern White Rhino bull that survived a poaching attempt.
Although the wound has healed substantially, it appears that the Oxpecker birds are keeping the wound open and preventing it from healing fully. It was therefore decided to treat the wound with medical grade honey and cover it with leather, using strong suture material in the skin and one orthopaedic screw into a piece of remaining horn. This will hopefully keep the Oxpeckers at bay for a while.
Oxpecker birds are usually welcomed by large mammals, they have a truly symbiotic relationship. The Oxpeckers get to feast on the many bugs and insects that live on and around the large beast, and in return the host has it’s own personal grooming attendant to remove ticks, lice and anything else that would usually infest it’s hide or fur. Sadly in this instance, the birds have hindered the healing process, but by covering the wound inflicted by the poachers, Dr. Johan has hopefully given the Rhino the protection it needs to repair.
Thank you to all our supporters, especially Arandu, Riverpoint Medical and Salvari for their collaboration in this project. And as always, Craghoppers and Ford for our essential Kit and 4×4’s.