Rhino Thandi & Themba DAY 18 - 21h00

19Mar
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Themba is moving less and less every day, he is still eating and drinking well but our levels of concern are creeping up again and the fear of infection running out of control in that leg, worries us continuously. We will resist another anaesthetic at all costs but tomorrow, once again, we prepare for this very real possibility. How much more of these can he take?

Will this be the one that makes his body say enough is enough? Given all that he has gone through, the level of pressure on the team increases every time. Tomorrow morning we will re-asses his situation and once again weigh up risk vs benefit and pray we are doing the best thing for him. Thandi continues to move around all over the park and shows nothing to concern us.

With official figures on poached rhino during 2012 (up to 16th March) now listed as 135 animals I find it soul destroying to think that since the night of poaching of the Kariega three, we have lost 45 more rhino. This is now an average of three per day. In other words, the horrors of what we found on that morning of hell on the 2nd of March, has happened every day since then to rhino across our country. In spite of more cries of disgust,more arrests, more anti-poaching training and deployment we are currently loosing this battle. We need to do more.

Within this vortex of crime, greed, cruelty and human scum we can't help but admire Themba and Thandi desperately trying to struggle their way out.

Thandi still making slow progress away from the gravity that tried to suck her in, Themba, the boy with the courage of a warrior scarcely managing to resist the current. The irony of their story is that should they live, should they free themselves of this life threatening situation, they become immune from the curse that the orchestrators of poaching have placed on all rhino. Because they will never grow horns again, the very symbol of their grand stature in natures order, they become worthless to poachers, no longer a target, free from mans greed, free from the threat that stalks every single rhino left on the planet. What a different life they will have if they make it through. Yes, survivors are important. They are important for the species and they are important for the fight. They motivate us in a war that for now we are losing. But we look at them and we learn from their fight, that every single one is important. Survivors of this level of brutality, win immunity. Please continue to support the Kariega team in fighting not just for their lives, but fighting for their immunity...for LIFE.

Will Fowlds

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