The condition of the animals that ran off into an undisclosed location on Monday was a far cry from that in which they arrived in 2013. Their horns had been cut off with a chainsaw while they were grazing in the reserve. The bull died on the scene and the two cows were left with gaping holes and their sinus cavities exposed.
Since named Lion’s Den and Dingle Dell by HESC, the two cows have undergone extensive treatment with a team of specialised wildlife veterinary surgeons.
HESC executive director and founder Lente Roode said: “I will never forget the sight of these poor animals when they arrived at HESC. No creature should have to endure what these two cows went through. While we do our utmost to rehabilitate poaching victims, every incident strengthens our resolve to help eradicate this scourge.”
The treatment of Lion’s Den and her calf Dingle Dell not only saved the animals’ lives, but resulted in a pioneering procedure being developed that would serve as the blueprint for rhino rehabilitation in the future.