SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary near Gravelotte in South Africa has lost three of their rhinos at the hands of poachers over the past weekend.
The discovery of the carcasses of the rhinos, named Audrey and her calf Azi, were made on Saturday.
A joint search operation which included two helicopters, a fixed wing aircraft, dog units, the local community and counter poaching units was rallied but despite all best efforts, the poachers managed to evade capture.
The rhino cow, Audrey, had at the time another calf called Louise.
On their Facebook page, SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary said the following:
“The rhino cow poached was identified as Audrey and her calf Azi. Little Louise, born exactly a month ago today, is still missing and we have teams out looking for her. We will not stop till we find her, at the moment she is our top priority.”
Tracks were later picked up and a search operation ensued with the hope of finding Louise. On Sunday, Rhino Revolution, Wild Skies Aviation and Dr. Peter Rogers from ProVet Wildlife Services joined up to try and locate the young calf. The hope was that should she be found alive and taken away to a rhino orphanage. Sadly, her body was found on Sunday morning – she did not survive the stress of the ordeal.
This heinous act comes less than a month after the passing of SanWild’s Founder, Louise Joubert.