Rhino poachers killed a rhino cow and hacked off her horn in front of her one-month-old calf, at the Dabchick Nature Reserve near Alma in Limpopo, according to a report on Tuesday.
Tommy Fraser, one of the reserve's owners, told Beeld newspaper that the farm manager, Martin Roux, had heard a shot at 1.30pm on Sunday, then later on, the blows of an axe echoing in the bush.
Roux found the one month old calf wailing next to its mother's carcass, and attempting to nurse from her.
“It was a shocking thing to see. It sounded as if he was crying,” Fraser said.
The nine-year-old rhino cow, Big Bertha, was a favourite in the reserve.
According to Fraser, his reserve is patrolled by armed guards, but the task is complicated by the large size of the property, which encompasses more than 1000 hectares.
The calf could not be coaxed away from its mother, so Thabazimbi vet Dr Louis Greeff was summoned to anaesthetise the calf and transport it to a rehabilitation centre.
Since the beginning of 2012, 164 rhinos have been killed for their horns, of which 95 were killed in the Kruger National Park. – Sapa