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Category: Related Work

Saving the Survivors – Key Moments from 2018

January 2018

The White Bull and Her Calf

The team had only just welcomed in the New Year when they were called out to this injured white rhino cow. Injured in a skirmish with a bull and with a young calf at her side the team treated the injury to her teat and a full recovery was expected.

White Rhino Jan
White Rhino Jan

The Team Pay Seha a Visit

In late January the STS team paid a visit to Seha to check on her progress. Her wound has not really improved as they hoped over the last week so it was decided that a new approach was needed to treat her wounds. This would be the first of several visits throughout 2018.

Saving The Survivors give Seha Update

The Release of a Cheetah

In January, the Saving the Survivors assisted in the successful relocation of a male cheetah who had previously been treated by the team for a foot injury. The cheetah was being moved from a reserve in Gauteng to KwaZulu-Natal.

February 2018

Carcass Poisoning

In February, in southern Mozambique, there was a deliberate poisoning of an elephant carcass. This poisoning affected over 100 critically endangered vultures including the death of at least 80 African White-backed Vultures and seven Hooded Vultures. Dr Joao and the team attended alongside the EWT to treat affected vultures and prevent any additional casualties.

Abandoned Elephant Calf

The STS team were called to attend to a 6-week old elephant calf who was sadly abandoned by its heard. After a check-up, the team discovered that the gait of his left hindlimb was abnormal and proceeded to sedate the calf in order to take a closer look via radiographs. Once rehabilitated, the calf will be reintroduced to the reserve where he will be mixed with other elephants in the reserve or form a new heard with other orphans.

Baby Elephant

Thembi Check-up

Dr Johan and Zoë attended to Thembi, to check-up on an old wound caused by poachers. They discovered maggots and inflammation which meant she was having difficulty breathing. The STS team quickly treated and dressed the wound before applying the fibreglass covering which helps to protect it, after 24 hours, Thembi was breathing normally again.

March 2018

Sundan Passes

On 19th March 2018, the world’s last male northern white rhino sadly passed away. Sudan was being treated for age-related complications that led to a number of degenerative changes in his muscles, bones and skin. Throughout his existence, Sundan significantly contributed to the survival of his species as he sired two females. Sadly his death leaves just two female white rhinos on the planet.

Injured White Rhino Micaela

The STS team were called out to attend to a white rhino cow that had been shot in the upper back. The rhino named Micaela was given anaesthetic before the attending team located and removed the bullet. The wound was treated and Micaela was given an antibiotic with the team hopeful she will make a full recovery.

Rhino Poaching

Growth on Buffalo Cow

The STS team travelled to Limpopo province in South Africa to attend to a young buffalo cow who had a severely infected growth on the side of its neck. Dr Johan Marais safely removed the growth and stitched the buffalo back up and the team were positive the buffalo would make a full recovery.

Seha is a Father

White rhino bull, Seha has successful rebred and the news broke in March that he will be a father. Seha was brutally attacked by poachers in 2016, both of his horns were hacked off and five other rhinos were killed during the attack. It was a long and painful rehabilitation process for Seha but the news that he has successful bread with white rhino cow Lucky is excellent news for the species.

Rhino Scan
Rhino scan

African Wild Dog Pack Formation

Assisting the Endangered Wildlife Trust, STS helped with the formation of a new African wild dog pack. The dogs are sedated, and the female dogs are rubbed against the male dogs as a way of bonding. Once the sedatives wear off, the dogs are left to get to know each other in an enclosure. The method, developed by the Endangered Wildlife Trust, worked exceptionally with no signs of aggression between the dogs.

Saving the Survivors & Project Red Partner

In April, two wildlife charities joined forces to tackle the ever-rising threat to wildlife in South Africa. Their joint ambition was to combat the impact of poaching head-on and delivering a wider conservational strategy through their own initiatives and by supporting other global projects.

May 2018

Rhino Alfred Shot in Namibia

Saving the Survivors journeyed to Namibia in May to assist with a white rhino bull who had been shot. The bullet penetrated the joint, causing fractures and a septic joint, which resulted in the bull being quite lame. The team cleaned the wound, flushed the joint and placed the limb in a cast, which isn’t easy with such a big animal.

Relocation of Fallen Rhino

A rhino that fell 60 foot off the edge of a cliff was the centre of a rescue mission in May. Although the rhino was not injured during the fall, he did fall onto land where he was at risk from poachers. This was the third attempt to relocate the rhino back to his home, unfortunately, it was unsuccessful, and a military helicopter is needed for the next attempt.

Saving The Survivors relocate Rhino

Relocated Cheetahs

Saving the Survivors successfully captured three beautiful cheetahs for relocation to a new reserve. A few weeks later, the team at Endangered Wildlife Trust released the cheetahs into their new home.

June 2018

Seha Update

Seha was poached in 2016 and was left with horrific facial injuries. The STS team have treated him many times and 2 years later, his condition continues to improve.

Saving The Survivors with Seha Rhino

Dr Glyphis darted him and Dr Marais cleaned and treated his wounds, everyone was pleased with his progress and the team will be back in 6-8 weeks to again check on him.

Dehorning of Rhinos

The dehorning of rhinos is becoming more common as a means to deter and protect these animals from poachers. The procedure offers a small amount of protection from poaching for the horn and is carried out by members of the Saving the Survivors team.

Saving The Survivors vet Rhino Anti Poaching Tactics

STS Selected for Global Giving

Saving the Survivors have been selected as one of the charities to take part in the GlobalGiving June accelerator. This opportunity gave the charity a chance to become permanent members of the GlobalGiving community.

Thembi Reunited with Calf

Thembi, the rhino who was poached two weeks prior has been reunited with her calf. The STS team worked hard to treat Thembi’s wounds and she was deemed well enough to be back with her calf who had clearly missed her a lot.

July 2018

STS Expands into Mozambique

Saving the Survivors is thrilled to announce they are expanding their work into Mozambique. This expansion will ensure the entire country is equipped with effective fast-response wildlife veterinary services.

Titan Caught in Snare

A 12-year-old bull elephant was the latest victim of a snare when he became caught in the wiring that is often designed to capture smaller wildlife. His leg was caught in a double cabled snare which caused significant injury, reaching deep down to the bone and causing substantial swelling and infection. The team treated Titan and they will revisit him and monitor his recovery.


Rhino Injured in a Fight

A white rhino bull named Mr T was injured during a fight with another bull. The rhino was lame on his left hindlimb, and on taking radiographs, the team concluded he had sustained a fracture of the lower tibia. The limb was cast and the team will return to monitor his recovery however Mr T has already lost weight and the fracture is infected.

Saving The Survivors vet works on Mr T Rhino Poaching

Dr Joao Almeida Joins the STS

In July, STS were thrilled to announce that Dr Joao Almeida would be joining the team following the charities expansion into Mozambique. Dr Joao is a highly-respected wildlife veterinarian with over 8 years’ experience and will be an invaluable addition to the team and work of STS.

STS Partners with African Pangolin Working Group and Johannesburg Wildlife Hospital

Working closer together to protect the worlds most poached animal on the planet, Saving the Survivors has partnered with the African Pangolin Working Group and Johannesburg Wildlife Hospital. Together they will work to combat the poaching of these animals and care for those who have been injured.

August 2018

STS Partner with Craghoppers

In August, Saving the Survivors announced that they have partnered with Craghoppers who will supply Dr Johan and the team with their kit.

Saving The Survivors partners with Craghoppers

STS Take Abandoned Rhino to Orphanage

The STS team were called in August to assist with a rhino calf who was sadly rejected by her mother at around 6 months old. It is unknown why she was abandoned but after a few attempts to reunite the mother and daughter, it was clear the calf needed to be cared for by someone else. The team darted and transported Cassie the calf to a rhino orphanage where she will be cared for by the staff. 

Lucky Survives Poaching Attack

A white rhino named Lucky was attacked by poachers where she was shot twice in the back and had both of her horns hacked off. With devastating injuries, Lucky survived and was treated by the STS team. Her wounds were cleaned, treated and disinfected and a cast was put on over the nasal cavity bones, protecting the large and more severe wound caused by hacking off the frontal horn.

GPS Tracking for 2 Lions

Two female lions were immobilised and fitted with GPS collars by the Saving the Survivors team. The lions are part of a pride of 13, and the GPS collars will allow Greater Limpopo Carnivore Program (GLCP) to improve the protection of Lions by understanding the pride’s movements, population dynamics, cub survival rates, prey preferences and habitat use. Samples were also taken which will be used in a global study on lion diseases.

Lion Collaring

September 2018

STS Assists in Historic Translocation

Saving the Survivors headed to Niassa National Reserve to assist in the translocation of 50 zebra and 50 wildebeest from NNR to Gile NR. The STS team will immobilise the wildlife for transit, collect blood samples and fit GPS collars for post-release monitoring.

Rhino Spartacus Passes

Sad news came on September 15th, 2018 when Saving the Survivors announced the passing of Spartacus, a rhino who had been the victim of poaching. The injuries he sustained from the poaching were too much and he sadly passed away on the 14th September.


Sunblest Attacked by Poachers

A magnificent male white rhino became the latest victim of poaching when he was shot in the front limb. Thankfully, Sunblest managed to survive and his horn was not taken however he did severely injure his leg that caused a lot of pain and difficulty in mobility. Two of the three bones had been badly affected and the STS team decided to treat and cast the limb. The team will regularly visit Sunblast to monitor the injury and replace the cast.

Saving The Survivors vet with Sunblest

October 2018

Collaring in Niassa National Reserve

Niassa National Reserve is the largest protected area in Mozambique, and it is home to Mozambique’s largest populations of elephants, lions, and wild dogs. This project will see improved elephant protection by increasing ranger patrols and deploying 40 satellite radio collars so that 3-5% of the remaining population can be tracked continuously.

Collaring In Niassa

Rhino Killed by Poachers

On 26th October, STS made the sad announcement that a white rhino bull that had been shot by a poacher in August had passed away. The rhino was treated several times however his condition worsened, and the decision was made by the team to euthanise him.

Pangolin Poached

The STS team were called by ANAC officials to assist with an adult pangolin who had been caught by poachers. The poacher was apprehended, and the team got to work assessing the injured animal. Despite being very stressed and dehydrated with superficial wounds, the pangolin was overall strong and healthy. The team took the endangered animal to a secure game reserve for observation. After a short period of observation, the pangolin was deemed fit enough to be released into its new home in southern Mozambique.

Pangolin Caught in Snare

In Niassa reserve, the STS mobile vet unit was called to assist with a young female pangolin who had been caught in a snare. The pangolin is the most trafficked mammal in the world and this one was badly injured; its left arm had been amputated by the wire and a severe infection was developing. Pangolins use their arms to forage for food and a pangolin with only one arm has no chance of recovery. For this reason, the decision was made for the pangolin to be euthanised.

Rhino Harvey Poached

The STS team were called to yet another brutal poaching of a rhino. Harvey had suffered a horrific injury at the hands of poachers. They saly hacked off his horn leaving a massive open wound. The STS team worked quickly to immobilise him, clean and dress the wound. Dr Johan Maris is confident the wounds will heal nicely. They plan on returning several times to treat the wound and ensure he is recovering.

November 2018

Relocation Project with EWT

Saving the Survivors and the Endangered Wildlife Trust came together to begin an historic wild dog relocation project. The first stage will see the dogs bond. This is before being relocated to a conservation area in Mozambique, before being released into the wild.

Successful Tracking Collar on Big Tusker

In November 2018, the STS team were in the sky looking for an elephant to place a tracking device on. They successfully managed to dart a tremendously large male. The tracking collar will help anti-poaching units increase their patrolling effort around the heads home range.

Saving The Survivors vet with Big Tusker

Lion Caught in Fence

In November 2018, Saving The Survivors were called by Karingani Game reserve and Kruger National Park rangers. This was after they had discovered a female lion caught in the South Africa / Mozambique fence. The lion had been trapped for 9 hours with injuries to both of her back legs. The lioness was released, treated, given a saline solution to help with the dehydration. This was as her cub looked on from a safe distance. She is expected to make a full recovery.

STS Launch Merchandise

In November, Saving the Survivors announced the launch of their official merchandise. From mugs to t-shirts and cuddly toys, 100% of all proceeds go towards supporting the work of Saving the Survivors.

December 2018

Black Rhino Poached

On the morning of the 4th December 2018, a critically endangered black rhino cow was poached and killed in Mozambique. The STS team attended to collect biological samples, perform a post-mortem and locate the bullets for forensics. There are less than 2500 black rhinos left on the planet, making this rhino death, even more tragic.

Buffalo Capture in Mozambique

Local herdsmen in Mozambique called STS to assist in an ongoing conflict between the cattle herds and herdsman and two buffalo bulls. It is believed the bulls are sharing the same territory. The herdsmen were concerned about disease being spread. So, with the assistance of Sabie Game Park staff and ECO APU, the buffalos were transferred back to the GLC reserve.

Collaring of cheetah

The tracking of animals in the wild is vital to better understand their behaviour. In December STS collared a subadult cheetah from a litter of 4 which will help to monitor her movements. This is especially important once she starts hunting.

Wildebeest Translocation

STS team assisted Peace Parks Foundation, SANPARKS and ANAC in the translocation of 72 wildebeest from South Africa to Zinave National Park.

The groundbreaking reintroduction of animals into Zinave National Park is part of a series of actions. This aims to rehabilitate one of the most beautiful and ecologically diverse National parks in the country.

Poached Rhino Cows Reintegrated

In August 2013, two cows were poached on a game reserve in Kruger National Park. Despite both of the cows losing their horns, they survived and underwent several treatments with the STS team. After a long healing and rehabilitation process, it was announced that both cows will be integrated into the larger reserve. They will then be released in December.

Harvey’s Recovery

Good news for the poached White Rhino bull Harvey! He has made such progressive improvements! The Saving The Survivors team believe he only needs one more treatment before he is fully healed!



Namibia reports record numbers of Rhino poaching for 2022

Namibia reports record numbers of Rhino poaching for 2022

Poachers turn their sights on Namibian Rhino. The number of endangered Rhinos poached in Namibia last year was the highest on record and almost twice as many as the year before, officials say. A total of 87 Rhinos were killed compared with 45 in 2021, official government data show. However, Elephant poaching in Namibia has … Continued

Zero Rhino Poached in India!

Zero Rhino Poached in India!

For the first time since 1977, zero Rhinos were poached in Indias parks. In May 2021, a new Chief Minister of the Indian state of Assam set out to thoroughly put an end to poaching in the state’s protected areas. Now 20 months later, the forestry and police departments of the state have reported that … Continued

The impact of poaching on Private Wildlife Custodians
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The impact of poaching on Private Wildlife Custodians

Saving The Survivors are committed to supporting Private Wildlife Custodians. The situation in Private Wildlife Custodians Due to countless decades of poaching of Rhino in National Parks, over half the world’s Rhino are now under the protection of private custodians who are struggling to meet the cost of protecting this endangered and heavily targeted species. … Continued

2 month progress report on baby Giraffe

2 month progress report on baby Giraffe

Remember the young Giraffe that was suffering with ruptured ligaments? The calf has had a cast on her leg for a total of 2 months now and Dr. Johan returned this week to remove it for good. The baby has healed amazingly and as you can see in the video has now returned to live … Continued

Supporting the hero rangers who protect our wildlife
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Supporting the hero rangers who protect our wildlife

As the year comes to end, it is time to give thanks. At our STS South Africa base, the team decided to thank those who truly deserve it.  The team put together some bush orientated first aid kits for several of the rangers protecting our wildlife and putting their lives on the line. STS would … Continued

Update on injured baby Giraffe

Update on injured baby Giraffe

Happy Holidays! Today is Boxing Day, in some cultures this is a day for giving. For donating to those less fortunate or in need. Please could you help save the survivors and create hope from hurt? We recently reported on a baby Giraffe that was suffering with ruptured ligaments, Dr. Johan treated this animal a … Continued

The art of immobilisation
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The art of immobilisation

How do STS immobilise wild animals? Immobilising large wildlife such as Rhino is an essential procedure in our toolkit to keep these species safe. Whether we need to treat an injured animal or a more proactive anti-poaching procedure like collaring, the decision to immobilise such a large patient is never taken lightly. When we humans … Continued

Dr. Johan operates on two Big Cats!

Dr. Johan operates on two Big Cats!

Reintroduced Lion populations pose several ecological and management challenges in smaller, fenced wildlife reserves. Changes in the natural social and ecological conditions of reintroduced Lions may lead to rapid reproduction and a breakdown of natural predator-prey relationships. To avoid culling of animals, STS was recently requested to perform one-sided hysterectomies on two female Lions that … Continued

Update on our little boy Kwayera
Southern White Rhino

Update on our little boy Kwayera

Update on Kwayera: Remember the baby orphan we rescued when he was found wandering the bush alone? For the first few days he was cared for 24/7 by our Veterinary Assistant and Baby Rhino Specialist “Dot”. This most certainly saved his life, before we could arrange for Dr. Johan to fly him to The Rhino Orphanage where … Continued

Injured three week old Giraffe needs our help!

Injured three week old Giraffe needs our help!

We were contacted by Dr. Ryan to assist with this 3 week old Giraffe that is knuckling over on his right front fetlock joint. This is a condition we see in young foals as well, when either the extensor tendon ruptures, or some of the collateral ligaments of the joint get injured. Dr. Ryan expertly … Continued

Dr. Johan translocates 2 awesome Lions!

Dr. Johan translocates 2 awesome Lions!

A coalition of two magnificent male Lions were recently relocated to another reserve. The reason for this move was twofold: Firstly, many reserves have an overpopulation of Lion and the relocation assists other reserves to bring in different genetics to its own Lion population. In a perfect world there would be no fences and Lions … Continued

“Ear piercing” a Rhino!
Southern White Rhino

“Ear piercing” a Rhino!

Notching is becoming a huge part in Rhino conservation. As a result, nearly all Rhinos in South Africa are “notched”. Notching is a way of identifying each individual animal.   Veterinarians do this by removing a small triangle or circle of skin from the Rhino’s ear. The veterinarians do not waste this skin, they use … Continued