Poachers in South Africa can sell a small rhino horn for a lot of money. It is estimated that 1,100 rhinos were killed in South Africa last year. So far this year, 129 have died. There are few safe places for rhinos.
Close to the Botswana border, there is a small privately owned game reserve (called a farm) that is home to many rhinos. One night, when the farm’s owner was gone, poachers were able to get past the security and attack two male rhinos.
Vrystaat and Impi were both 2 years old. Vrystaat was shot in the eyes and through one shoulder. The poachers then brutally removed his front horn. Impi was shot too, through his abdomen. The shot shattered his hip. Neither of his horns was removed.
Sadly, Impi died and was found the next morning. Somehow, Vrystaat had survived. Saving the Survivors was called, and the team rushed to help. Dr. Glyphis began to work on Vrystaat’s injuries.
So far, Vrystaat is stable.
But, he will need constant care and medications for the next 18 months. That won’t be easy because Vrystaat doesn’t trust people anymore – and who can blame him?
Muslim men covet rhino horns.
The horns are made into handles for curved daggers.
Traditional Chinese medicine uses rhino horns to cure gout, fever, and rheumatism
Sadly, there is no scientific proof that rhino horns, made of keratin, can cure any illness.