Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Rare Black Rhino Euthanized After Being Shot by Poachers

Animals
Rare Black Rhino Euthanized After Being Shot by Poachers

A beloved black rhino living in Zimbabwe's Matopo National Park was euthanized after suffering from "unimaginable pain" from multiple poaching wounds, Zimbabwean wildlife authorities said.

The 8-year-old rhino was named Ntombi, which translates to "girl" in Zimbabwe’s Ndebele language. The well-known rhino, who was reportedly featured in the 2012 Animal Planet series Karina Wild on Safari, was also the mother of a 13-month-old calf which was not harmed by poachers.

As mentioned in the video, the rare black rhino was part of a groundbreaking genome sequencing project to save the endangered species, which currently has a global population of less than 5,000.

The poachers had targeted Ntombi earlier this month, according to the Bhejane Trust, a Zimbabwe-based rhino and wildlife conservation nonprofit:

Tragic news from the Matopos where a well known young 8 year old rhino cow, Ntombi, was shot and wounded. The shots were heard on Tuesday last week but nothing was found after a search by parks. Only days later was the severely wounded Ntombi found, and had to be euthanised as the vet ruled there was no possibility of saving her - she had lived a week of indescribable agony! Ntombi had a 13 month calf ( her first) and we are following up on what has happened to this youngster. We have suspicions as to who the poachers were, and will be offering a substantial reward for any arrest in this case!

Eight-year-old Ntombi was found alive but seriously wounded several days after she was shot by suspected poachers. Photo credit: Aware Trust Zimbabwe Facebook

Caroline Washaya-Moyo, a spokeswoman for Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA), told Reuters Africa that the rhino had four bullet wounds in her legs and shoulder after being shot last week. Her horns had been sawn off but were later recovered.

She "endured unimaginable pain caused by broken legs and open wounds," Washaya-Moyo said.

"The animal was very immobile and was unable to walk to access food and water. Because of the seriousness of the wounds the authority had to put the animal to sleep," she added.

Veterinarians from animal conservation group Aware Trust carried out X-rays on Ntombi. On Facebook, the group said the situation was "gut wrenching" and "one of the most difficult things we've had to do."

"Now is the time to come forward and help Zimbabwe's National Parks," Aware Trust wrote. "If we don't stand united against poachers, we will lose our wildlife heritage forever. Please ... support Zimparks."

Reuters reported that ZPWMA is conducting an investigation into the poaching and wardens are now caring for Ntombi's young calf.

Consumer demand of rhino horn in parts of Asia have driven a tragic increase in wildlife crime. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists black rhinos as Critically Endangered:

The population of Black Rhino has declined by an estimated 97.6% since 1960 with numbers bottoming out at 2,410 in 1995, mainly as a result of poaching. Since then, numbers have been steadily increasing at a continental level with numbers doubling to 4,880 by the end of 2010. Current numbers are however still 90% lower than three generations ago.

Survival of these species is at incredible risk. A record 1,305 rhinos were illegally killed in Africa last year, according to Reuters. Zimbabwe's black and white rhino population is estimated at just over 800, Washaya-Moyo said.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

WWF and Leonardo DiCaprio: Wild Tiger Populations Increase for First Time in 100 Years

97% of Endangered Species Threatened by 3 Common Pesticides

Maryland Just Became the Most Bee-Friendly State in the U.S.

Unlocking the Potential of Sustainable Fishing

Air France airplanes parked at the Charles de Gaulle/Roissy airport on March 24, 2020. SAMSON / AFP via Getty Images

France moved one step closer this weekend to banning short-haul flights in an attempt to fight the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
A woman looks at a dead gray whale on the beach in the SF Bay area on May 23, 2019; a new spate of gray whales have been turning up dead near San Francisco. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Four gray whales have washed up dead near San Francisco within nine days, and at least one cause of death has been attributed to a ship strike.

Read More Show Less
Trending
A small tourist town has borne the brunt of a cyclone which swept across the West Australian coast. ABC News (Australia) / YouTube

Tropical Cyclone Seroja slammed into the Western Australian town of Kalbarri Sunday as a Category 3 storm before grinding a more-than 600-mile path across the country's Southwest.

Read More Show Less
A general view shows the remains of a dam along a river in Tapovan, India, on February 10, 2021, following a flash flood caused by a glacier break on February 7. Sajjad Hussain / AFP / Getty Images

By Rishika Pardikar

Search operations are still underway to find those declared missing following the Uttarakhand disaster on 7 February 2021.

Read More Show Less
Indigenous youth, organizers with the Dakota Access and Line 3 pipeline fights and climate activists march to the White House to protest against pipeline projects on April 1, 2021. Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Indigenous leaders and climate campaigners on Friday blasted President Joe Biden's refusal to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline during a court-ordered environmental review, which critics framed as a betrayal of his campaign promises to improve tribal relations and transition the country to clean energy.

Read More Show Less