Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

Baby white rhino born to poaching victims
Saving the Survivors treat rhino horn injuries using human dressings covered with elephant leather.

Parents saved by wildlife rescue charity Saving the Survivors

Conservationists have hailed the arrival of a baby white rhino as a ‘huge victory’ for the species, which is listed on the IUCN Red List as ‘Near Threatened’.

The rhino (not pictured) was born to two rescued victims of poaching in Limpopo, South Africa. The mother, Lucky, sustained gunshot wounds to her shoulder while the father, Seha, received horrific wounds to his nasal cavity after poachers hacked out his horns.

Wildlife charity Saving the Survivors said the injury Seha suffered in 2016 is one of the worst poaching-related injuries known, especially since he survived the attack. Having treated similar injuries over the last seven years, the charity managed to persuade Seha’s owner not to have him put down.

Rhino horn injuries pose a huge challenge to veterinary surgeons. Any wild animal mutilation has its complications, but the process is made even more complicated in situations like Seha's, where the wounds become infected and cannot be closed. 

Saving the Survivors treat rhino horn injuries using human dressings covered with elephant leather. The leather is thought to contain the right moisture level and enzymes to aid recovery and acts as a bandage to keep the dressings in place.

Currently, the wounds take around two to three years to heal. But Saving the Survivors are working with colleagues in Europe to explore new methods and technologies, which will help to speed up the process. This includes the use of 3D scanners and printers to create facial masks.

While past victims of poaching-related injuries were often euthanised, Saving the Survivors have managed to save more than 65 per cent of the animals they have treated.

“The recovery for poaching victims like Lucky and Seha must address not only physical concerns but also psychological,” the charity said.

“Re-introduction to other rhinos is an essential part of their recovery. The mating of two poaching victims is both a huge victory and a statement of their progress, as well as a promising sign of re-populating this near threatened species.”

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Pair of endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Colchester Zoo

News Story 1
 Keepers at Colchester Zoo are hailing the arrival of a pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs.

The cubs were born to first-time parents Esra and Crispin on the 9 September. This is the first time the Zoo has bred Amur leopard cubs on-site.

Amur leopards originate from the Russian Far East and north-east China. In the wild they are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade.

The cubs are said to be “looking well” and are expected to emerge from their den in a few weeks.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
BEVA survey seeks views about antibiotic use in horses

Equine vets are being invited to participate in a BEVA survey that aims to find out more about antimicrobial resistance in equine veterinary practice.

Designed by researchers at the University of Liverpool and incoming BEVA president Tim Mair, the survey aims to fill gaps in knowledge about how antimicrobials are being used in equine practice and the landscape of resistant infections encountered in equine practice.

Researchers hope the results will lead to a greater understanding of the role of antimicrobial treatment and antimicrobial resistance in horses and protect antibiotics for the future of equine and human health.