Mahindini was born near lake Naivasha only three days ago. Her mother was a young six year old White rhino living on Oserian Game Sanctuary. The newborn baby appeared premature and weakened from the outset. Both these factors played a part in the events that later unfolded.
The very young and inexperienced mother seemed disinterested in her baby, and her baby lost strength with each passing day. This maybe because she could not feed adequately due to her minute size inhibiting her reaching her mothers teats.
Yesterday, Friday the 7th June, the calf was found trapped in a ditch and unable to get out. It was clear that without intervention it was not going to survive. The KWS Veterinary Officer Elphantis, working together with ARR (Animal Rights Reserved) made the decision to rescue the calf in order to save her life. By now she could hardly stand on her own unaided due to a loss of condition and she was freezing cold.
At the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Nursery we were alerted by the Kenya Wildlife Service of the pending new arrival. The calf was driven directly from Naivasha to the Nursery by Rob Mills accompanied by KWS Vet Elphatis and KWS rangers, arriving at 11.00pm. Immediately on arrival she was carried to a warm stable neighboring Lemoyian's, helped to her feet and fed milk, which she seemed desperate for and suckled well. She was given antibiotics to help stave off pneumonia, and placed on an IV drip. Wrapped up warm she appeared to sleep well throughout the night, but by morning lacked the reserves to feed. Her breathing was labored and a yellow fluid poured from her mouth and nose. Despite our best efforts she slipped away at 10.00am the morning of the 8th of June.
KWS performed an autopsy which revealed that she infact had an injury to the ribcage which had compromised a lung. The reason for this could have been as a result of her mother rejecting her physically, or falling in the ditch.