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A 40-year-old Southern White Rhino who lives on a private reserve in South Africa was first shot by poachers in 2014 through the back of his neck. Thankfully, he managed to escape. His wounds were treated and cleaned, allowing him to make a full recovery.

7 years later…

On the 17th of May at 10pm, the anti-poaching unit reported that a gunshot had been heard. Within minutes these teams responded to in full force. This included the local Farm Watch, fellow custodians and two K-9 units, the anti-poaching team and rangers who went in pursuit of the perpetrators. At the same time the reserve employees deployed to locate all the Rhino on the reserve to determine who had been shot.

All but one Rhino were located, and sadly that night Samson was nowhere to be found. Blood and spoor were discovered, and the next 12 hours were spent desperately searching for him. No one knew whether he was still alive, how extensive his injuries were or whether he still had his horn. After a nerve-wracking day, he was found, alive but wounded and Saving The Survivors veterinarians were called in to assist.

Dr Johan Marais and the STS team darted Samson the following morning and he was treated for a single gunshot wound. Miraculously, the gunshot managed to miss anything vital. Samson was very lucky as it was only a flesh wound; the bullet went into the left forearm, but it didn’t seem to be affecting the bone structures or any vital organs or other structures such as tendons etc. This is the second bullet that remains lodged in Samson’s body from poaching attempts to date.

We are happy to report that Samson continues to roam wildly in his home territory under the watchful eyes of his anti-poaching guardians together with his crash of females as one of the most magnificent bulls we have ever seen.