Themba has only moved about 30 meters through the day and he has not been near water since the procedure more than 24 hours ago. This is making us feel a little anxious and we hope that he will make it down to water tonight. He does appear to be alert and responsive but the thicket he is in is making meaningful observations of his leg difficult.
Thandi has been out in the open this evening and is looking good. There was substantial rain overnight and we hope that this has not rinsed too much of the treatment off their faces. A few hot days following this will bring back another onslaught of flies and maggots so we will take each day as it comes and decide when to schedule their next treatment in a day or two.
Thanks for all of you who have started to spread the word of this painful story. The support you have been posting through the Kariega facebook page and via emails have been so encouraging. I know there are many nature loving people out there who are concerned that we are putting too much emphasis on one species, the rhino, when there are so many other deserving species which are also endangered. This is a completely valid concern as, in the context of global biodiversity, the rhino crisis threatens to divert precious attention and resources away from the bigger picture. I see so many reserves struggling to cope with the hidden costs of poaching. Even if they haven't lost any animals, they are spending huge amounts on security now, which is firstly not an investment, it is a spend. And secondly, no amount of money can guarantee their safety. I know if reserves where this situation is not sustainable and they are applying this level of protection in the hope that something will change and shift the balance in favour of the rhino soon. In the meantime this crisis which has become an epidemic which, in my mind, will teach us a lot about ourselves as humanity.
The bottom line: Whether we win or loose the battle to save the rhino will be a measure of how much we value this species and a clear indication of our desire to protect all species in our care.