Old Wound On Rhino's Leg Reveals Wire Snare

16 Apr 2024

Caring for wild animals, and in particular, endangered species like rhinos takes a lot of effort and can be costly. Owners and caregivers go to great lengths to protect them and keep them healthy.  

An older rhino cow on a private farm in Namibia, was recently treated successfully by a team of veterinarians specialising in wild animals.   

The rhino had an old, healed wound on its left hind leg. Recently however, the owners noticed that the rhino's hind leg was swollen, and she started limping again.

The hind leg of the huge rhino cow with the old, swollen wound.
Photo: WVN


The vets were called and came all the way from Windhoek and even brought a portable X-ray machine along.

The rhino cow was sedated and while it was snoring in deep slumber, the X-rays showed that the poor animal had been carrying around a wire snare used by poachers, for years inside its leg.

“The rhino had probably escaped at that time and the wound healed as tissue formed around the wire snare. The animal has coped quite well all these years,” according to Wildlife Vets Namibia (WVN).

The wire loop had unfortunately had over the years cut through the tissue almost to the bone!

The mobile X-ray machine clearly shows the snare inside the foot.
Photo: WVN


The wound was opened on the one side, and after some searching the entire wire snare was found instead of suspected bits and pieces of the wire.

The round snare was cut and and gently pulled out of the rhino's leg.

The wound was then properly disinfected, stitched up and even bandaged with a bright green bandage. According to WVN, the bandage will come off with time and the rhino should make a full recovery.

All stitched up and bandaged, the rhino cow is on the road to full recovery.
Photo: WVN


During the operation the “patient” also received a dose of long-acting antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication.

The ancient beast then woke up and trotted off into the bush. A few weeks later, all is well, the wound is healing nicely, and the rhino is obtaining full recovery, WVN said.

Brigitte Weidlich

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