Black rhino Storm gets a helping hand (and some critical diagnostic support) from off duty Nectare paramedic.

Fundimvelo Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage is a specialised care and rehabilitation centre for orphaned rhinos based at Thula Thula Game Reserve in KZN.

“The reality is that aggressive poaching is pushing our iconic rhino’s closer and closer to the brink of extinction. It is becoming increasingly evident that every rhino we can save is critical in this war on poaching and the fight to rescue a species.”

One of the many tragic fallouts of the poaching crisis is the orphaned young rhinos that are left behind once the mothers have been killed. A rhino calf has no horn and depends entirely on its mother for food and protection from predators. Rhino calves suckle up to the age of 18-months and losing it’s mother in infancy often has a deadly outcome.

There is a country-wide shortage of facilities with the ability to take in these brave little souls, and as a result we are losing young rhino that could have saved.

In response to this need a unique partnership has been formed between The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization (LAEO), Thula Thula Private Game Reserve and the local communities represented by their respective chiefs.

The foundation was having a challenge with one of their little Black Rhino Calves, names Storm… the team on site were battling to diagnose the cause of the “Protein losing Enteropathy” (PLE).

They knew that they had to do something & were incredibly concerned with time & travel. Storm was deteriorating at a rapid rate.

The “Bateleurs” offered to fly Storm to the Onderstepoort Vet Faculty but the calf was too weak to cope with the flight; they couldn’t drive to the nearest VET either as they were concerned that a trip anywhere would have been too much.

Trevor Kolk was on-site and heard of their frustration and dilemma and within an hour had made contact with Richard Schouten, a senior paramedic at Netcare Richards Bay.

Richard who was about to go off duty but heard their call & arranged for the loan of a sonar machine. He immediately drove all the way up to Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage in an ambulance with the sonar machine.

“Richard’s experience with human patients was obvious with Storm immediately responding to his calm manner. Valuable information was obtained from the scan which have guided our treatment protocols.”

Fundimvelo Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage is really a world-class care facility & with community partnerships like this, together we can give these magnificent animals the fighting chance they deserve at survival.

“Huge rhino hugs and warmest thanks to thanks to Richard for his time and concern; to Nectare for the loan of the sonar and to Trevor for organising the help so quickly and efficiently.”


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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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