When we were capturing Kei after his mom passed, we were thinking that her death was due to her age. However we are always curious and not content to accept what may seem obvious. With hints of some virus affecting Rhinos we wanted to be sure we had done all we could. Once Kei was safely immobilised, we asked vet Gerhardus Scheepers to please proceed and start an autopsy.

What we discovered was just gruesome. Nothing caused by man however. Masses of pus escaped her carcass. Definitely something was bad here. As Gerhardus cut away more and more of the carcass, we watched with horror as the abscess that had formed was isolated. A huge node with so much pus that smelled horrific. We were all gagging, the smell was incredibly intense and rotten. How the Rhino showed no outward symptoms of her illness was beyond us.

I will share the video here but please note it is an autopsy so quite disturbing. Even though the Rhino had died it still felt awful to cut her open. Had we not though, we would just have written her death off to old age.

Every Rhino matters, no death is acceptable. In this case it made sense, she must have been in intense pain at the end. So the end was a release to her…