Lofo arrived at Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary on the 10th of February 2016 after his mother was brutally killed by poachers.
The 8-month-old calf was found in the Satara region of the Kruger National Park after roaming the bush alone for 5 days. Field rangers rescued the calf along with veterinarian Dr Markus Hoffmeyer who attended to Lofo’s wounds.
The Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary team then collected Lofo from the Kruger National Park. He reached the sanctuary in terrible condition with a wound from a piece of wood that had pierced his front leg, and two deep cuts on his back from a machete, as the poachers attempted to break his spine!
He was dehydrated, stressed, and badly wounded! Due to shock, his temperature and blood glucose levels were very low. He was treated for the dehydration, given fluids, and his wounds were flushed and cleaned thoroughly by Petronel.
The Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary staff monitored him throughout the course of that night as his condition stabilised, and later that morning he began drinking milk from the bottle. He quickly settled into his new environment and as a result, his temperature and glucose levels returned to normal. It didn’t take long before Lofo was drinking milk on a regular basis!
With the help of Dr Ferreira du Plessis, Dr Nolene du Plessis and Dr Jan Louis Ras, Lofo’s wounds were treated and cleaned thoroughly and regularly (twice a week) to prevent infection. A big thank you to ER24, Globeflight, Umsini Healthcare and so many others for helping us with medical supplies.
Due to the wound on his back that did not heal properly, Lofo was forced to undergo surgery in order to remove dead bone from his spine area. The surgery was performed on Sunday the 3rd of April 2016 by Dr Nolene du Plessis, Dr Jan Louis Ras, Dr Ferreira du Plessis, and Dr Albertus Coetzee.
Lofo’s injuries, and the treatment he has received, have provided veterinarians with the opportunity to compile valuable research that will undoubtedly be useful to the future wellbeing of the species. We are pleased to say that the operation was a major success, and Lofo was quickly back on his feet with his friends Don, Oz and Twinkle! Being social animals, it’s great to see how well the four of them have bonded to form their own herd (a crucial part of the rehabilitation and release process)!
Lofo appears to be thoroughly enjoying himself at the sanctuary, and relishes his time out in the fresh green grass! He looks like a happier, healthier rhino every day. He also enjoys his daily mud baths and nap-times with his best friend Twinkle.