First of all, on behalf of Petronel and the team at Care for Wild, thank you to everyone for all of your well wishes regarding the new calf at our rhino orphanage.
The calf was born in the afternoon on Monday, and her owners quickly noted that the mother was not allowing the calf to drink any milk. Advice from veterinarians said that they should monitor the mother and calf throughout the night to see if she lets the calf drink. However, by morning it was clear that she had rejected the newborn so it was decided that human intervention was urgently needed if the calf was to have a chance of survival. Petronel was called and a emergency rescue plan was put in place. That day a helicopter, piloted by Wayne Kenneth, transported Veterinarian Dr. Ferreira and CFW staff member Dorota to the reserve where the rhinos were located. The mother was quickly sedated and milked so that the young calf had a chance to receive her mother's colostrum. Colostrum is the first milk that the cow provides to their newborn calf. It is packed full of antibodies that provide the calf with the only disease specific immunity that they will have until their own immune system becomes fully functional.
So why do some Rhino cows (females) reject their newborn calfs? It isn't exactly known why some rhino cows reject their young immediately after birth. One such reason could be natural selection, which means that rhino mothers reject their weak offspring in favour of having healthier young in the future, or a first time Mom can abandon her young out of stress and confusion.
Caption and video: @johnny_gaskell
A Green Sea Turtle eating a Lion's Mane Seajelly off Hook Island over the weekend. Amazing how calm the turtle was as it chomped away even pushing the jelly right up against me a few times. Was worth the stings