It was our vet Amanda to the rescue when she travelled to Liwonde National Park. News had spread that the 21-months old Rhino, Christopher, had a nasty open snare wound on his front left foot. Since the injury report, 17 days were dedicated to find Christopher and his mother, Namatunu. These are notoriously shy animals who cover a huge territory and tracking them in rainy season conditions only makes things trickier. Mother Rhinos are constantly alert and even the slightest sound or foreign smell can set them running into the deep bush.
Following good planning, sound communication and logistics as well as hard team effort (and a pinch of luck!), Namatunu and her snared offspring were found and Christopher was successfully darted. The calf was soon fully anaesthetised but with the mother close by the team had to treat him fast. A small incision was made to search for any imbedded snare wire and thankfully none was found. The wound was then treated with multiple disinfectant regimes and a large dose of long-acting antibiotics. We fitted Christopher with a tracking collar and within 30 minutes the whole job was done! It is always worth the rain, mud and exhausting days of on-foot tracking when rescue operations are successfully completed. We will keep an eye on both mother and son but we have no doubts that Christopher will be fighting fit in no time.