16 June 2013 : I feel emotional as I get ready to head out for a game drive at the local Garden Route Game Lodge near Mossel Bay. We have a wonderful evening planned in the reserve with red wine flowing and lots of friends but its a bittersweet feeling as my mind constantly wanders to the plight of these two friendly rhino. Named Bonnie and Clyde, they were shot and tranquillised last week by poachers. Tragic to think that the horns from these two are no longer on their heads but no doubt on an aeroplane somewhere bound for the middle or far east to be used for dagger handles or carved into ceremonial cups… what a waste… In the meantime these two are fighting for their lives after massive doses of tranquilizers have affected their kidneys. No doubt – some people will say they are lucky : lucky to be alive ? what do you think….I cannot cheer up in time for tonight. Far more importantly , I can only hope these two will survive.
Update: 22 June 2013: Bonnie and Clyde have survived. Through the care of the owners of Schotia game reserve where they live; and the vet who was caring for them- it seems they will live to see more years out on the reserve. I am so relieved and incredibly happy to relay this news. It does however pose an interesting question or two. This appears to have been a professional job and the amputation done by someone who knew exactly how close to the bone he/she could go. However there was no antidote given to the tranquilizer used and that alone could have killed them, so was it just good fortune that they lived? Is it possible that both Bonnie and Clyde had the same good fortune? Are poachers now trying to avoid killing the rhinos in general – perhaps hoping their horns will grow back ? Courtesy of Justin Bean, here are some photos of the pair recently , without their lovely horns.