Monday, June 23, 2014

Rhino Rescue

Our Rhino Rescue in Kruger National Park was a success! It was exciting to watch the helicopter circle the area looking for rhinos nearby.  Soon they spotted a mother and her calf and the Vet went up with his tranquilizer gun.  Once the rhino calf was shot the helicopter quickly drove both mother and baby towards us in hopes ithe calf would fall in a clearing but it didn't quite make it. The helicopter was able to  separate Ammon from his mother for 1/2 hour while a Vet, with the help of all the senior couples, tagged him and put a chip in his horn to discourage Poaching .  Poaching rhinos is a real problem here in South Africa, because there are people who believe that the horn cures cancer.

 When Ammon first went down he wasn't in a good position so several men had to lift and turn him a bit. The rhino was a calf around 3 years old, weighting about 3200 pounds. Ed's job was to put powder on the rhino's ear after the Vet notched it. The powder produced  a chemical reaction to stop the bleeding.  Some of  jobs included monitored his breathing, collected DNA, putting socks in his ears and towel over his eyes to help keep him calm, and administering the anti dote to wake him up.

When Ammon woke up he was a bit shaky at first, but in a few minutes he ran off to his mother.  Long Live Ammon!

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