Saturday 14th April 2012 brought an unusual orphan that would have been a first for the Trust - a tiny newborn male White Rhino calf from Meru National Park in Northern Kenya. The tiny calf which was no more than a few weeks old, apparently had a broken back right hind leg as well as a neck wound. It arrived in the late evening so all we could do that day was to splint the broken back leg, clean the neck wound, make the baby as comfortable as possible and give it formula milk having made arrangements by phone for three Veterinarians (Drs. Rottcher, Sanjay and Veejay) to give up their Sunday at leisure in order to anaesthetize, Xray and if possible operate at 9 a.m. in order to try and pin the broken bone on the baby rhinos leg as well as investigate the damage to the neck.
Arrangements were made to take the baby rhino to their Karen Surgery the next morning.
The baby rhino took milk hungrily during the early part of the night of the 14th, the last feed being at midnight in view of the impending anaesthetic the next morning. At the appropriate time the calf was driven to the Karen Surgery as arranged where all three Vets had made preparations for the surgical intervention due to take place. Sadly, however, as the calf was being carried from the vehicle to the Surgery building, it breathed its last, and died in the Keepers arms.
The Vets were then able to investigate the nature of the break and ascertain whether, in fact, there had been hope of being able to mend it. As it turned out, this would have been well nigh impossible, since the knee joint had been shattered and scepticaemia was already advanced indicating that the wounds were not as fresh as was at first thought. Scepticaemia was the main cause of death, combined of course with shock and pain all of which was too much for this unfortunate baby to endure.