Rhino Thandi & Themba DAY 11 - 18h30

12Mar
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Themba continues to be a worry as we are not aware of him drinking at all since his anaesthetic which is now 2 days ago. There was rain on the first night which may have given him some puddles of water to drink from. He is only a few hundred meters from water this afternoon and he knows his surrounding's well, which should mean that he would have taken in some fluids by now. There are signs of him feeding as he has made his way through the edge of the thicket line today but not enough yet to be happy with his progress. He has not passed faeces yet today which confirms his reduced intake and although assessing condition in these thick skinned animals is difficult we can see noticeable weight loss now.

I decided not to treat with anti-imflammatories today as I am concerned that, should he be dehydrated, we may damage his kidneys further. Themba has moved 200 to 300 meters over the past 24 hours so he is still mobile and alert but he is only taking about 10% weight on his bad leg.

Thandi has been moving around a lot and was up a steep forested valley when I tried to get a look at her this afternoon. She has moved around a lot in the past 24 hours so seems to be holding her own for now. The Kariega staff have been seeing her out in the open quite a lot.

Today we officially released the horrendous images that were taken on day 1. Just working through these images and reliving the horror of that first morning has not been easy but I must give all the credit to Paul Mills who filmed these scenes and has edited them together for us without asking for anything in return. As I was racing to Kariega on Day 1, I phoned Paul to ask for his help as their condition could not afford any delays. Paul dropped everything and met me on the road so that he could capture everything that happened from the minute I got there. 

Not only is this footage important for awareness but it is also invaluable for me to be able to study now and compare the various symptoms that we are working with at this stage, with those from the early days of the process. For me, this war requires as many people on this planet to appreciate the shear horror of poaching and the images which we have recorded at every stage, I pray will prompt the sort of response from you all that converts into ACTION.

The first action which I urge you to do, is to share these links and images with your entire network and those in authority in your communities. This is the first and most important step. We will do our best, along with many others who have already done so much, to suggest other ways you can make the suffering of Themba and Thandi make a difference in this war. The future of their species is at stake, the lives and sufferings of their kin hang in the balance.

Will Fowlds

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