A 10-year-old rhino whose horn had been ripped out returned to the wild in South Africa on Monday after undergoing 30 operations in six years to repair injuries inflicted by poachers.

His rescuers nicknamed him Sehawukele, which means “God give us thanks”.

He had been found by the police, staggering near a fence in a reserve, so disfigured that he could barely hear or eat.

Our new survivor has a name!

Seha which is short for "Sehawukele" means 'Have Mercy on Us' in Zulu.

#CreatingHopeFromHurt #Rhinosurvivor pic.twitter.com/4DW67vXIyN

— Saving The Survivors (@SavingSurvivors) September 28, 2016

A wildlife veterinarian, who runs an organization called Saving the Survivors which treats animals that have survived poachers, has been called in to help.

After numerous operations, the nasal cavities of the rhinoceros remain exposed, with a risk of infection.

The hope of reproduction

But "he recovered exceptionally," said veterinarian John Marais.

“And I think a new chapter begins with his return to the wild in a 2,000 hectare camp where we have placed two females of breeding age with him”.

His rescuers keep the exact location a secret to avoid further attacks.

Poachers have killed at least 249 rhinos in South Africa in the first six months of 2021, up 83 from the same period a year earlier.

The total figure for 2021 is not yet known, but 24 rhinos were killed in two weeks in December.

The animals are slaughtered for their horns, which are smuggled into Asia where they are highly prized for their supposed traditional medicinal properties.


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  • Animals

  • Planet

  • South Africa

  • Poaching

  • Rhinoceros

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