The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Rare Black Rhino Euthanized After Being Shot by Poachers
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.
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
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Charli Shield
At unsettling times like the coronavirus outbreak, it might feel like things are very much out of your control. Most routines have been thrown into disarray and the future, as far as the experts tell us, is far from certain.
By Elizabeth Henderson
Farmworkers, farmers and their organizations around the country have been singing the same tune for years on the urgent need for immigration reform. That harmony turns to discord as soon as you get down to details on how to get it done, what to include and what compromises you are willing to make. Case in point: the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038), which passed in the House of Representatives on Dec. 11, 2019, by a vote of 260-165. The Senate received the bill the next day and referred it to the Committee on the Judiciary, where it remains. Two hundred and fifty agriculture and labor groups signed on to the United Farm Workers' (UFW) call for support for H.R. 5038. UFW President Arturo Rodriguez rejoiced:
By Julia Conley
A council representing more than 800,000 doctors across the U.S. signed a letter Friday imploring President Donald Trump to reverse his call for businesses to reopen by April 12, warning that the president's flouting of the guidance of public health experts could jeopardize the health of millions of Americans and throw hospitals into even more chaos as they fight the coronavirus pandemic.
By Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
Over six gallons of water are required to produce one gallon of wine. "Irrigation, sprays, and frost protection all [used in winemaking] require a lot of water," explained winemaker and sommelier Keith Wallace, who's also a professor and the founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia, the largest independent wine school in the U.S. And water waste is just the start of the climate-ruining inefficiencies commonplace in the wine industry. Sustainably speaking, climate change could be problematic for your favorite glass of wine.