Rhino Thandi & Themba DAY 8 - 18h00

09Mar
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Thandi, the female rhino, has not been seen today but her general whereabouts is known and she has been mobile so we have left her alone for today. Themba, the male has spent most of the day lying up in the same location which as a behaviour pattern differs slightly from previous days. I fear this is an indication of increased discomfort. He has stood up several times and changed his position which is only mildly reassuring. Although the news of him eating and drinking overnight is good, his overall intake does not sound like it is sufficient to sustain him and this would need to improve over the next few days. Tomorrow we plan to work on both the rhino. The female will have to be darted from the helicopter which can be stressful in itself. Fortunately, we are once again in the hands of Grant Soule tomorrow who is not only an amazing chopper pilot, but his understanding and finesse when it comes to sheparding rhino while the anaesthetic takes effect, is a gift which I have marvelled at for many years. This is such a critical aspect of the procedure as excessive stress on an animal which is already compromised could be disastrous. The fear of what we may find tomorrow when we assess Themba's leg is constantly at the back of our minds. We have put an enormous amount of preparation into the procedures tomorrow so that we can be at our best for them. It is quite possible that we may have to consider the unthinkable, and I know this would be a devastating loss after so much anguish. But for now we focus on being positive and would ask that you do the same. Thank you all for so many emails and comments directed at the entire Kariega team and all they are doing for these courageous and precious animals.

Will Fowlds

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