A critically endangered northern white rhino is undergoing treatment at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. One of just five Northern white rhinos left worldwide keepers are hopeful that she will live on.
Swelling was noticed on Nola’s right hip late last week which keepers continued to monitor. As it continued to grow so did keepers worry so they called in the vets on Saturday. They lanced the abscess to discover what the swelling is. “We found the swelling was consistent with a large abscess, filled with pus,” stated Meredith Clancy, associate veterinarian, San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “We were able to flush the area with sterile saline and will wait on tests results to determine what is going on with Nola.”
Luckily, “Nola is a great patient,” explained Clancy. She has a great relationship with keepers and interacts with them which helps with her on-going, age related medical needs. While being examined she walked slowly with keepers and vets through her field.
She does not appear to be outwardly sick making vets optimistic that this is a walled off abscess which is not affecting her systematically. As a precautionary matter she will be on antibiotics and have the site flushed on a daily basis till test results are returned in the next one to two weeks.
Poaching has brought the northern white rhino to its knees. Only four elderly rhinos remain in captivity with their wild counterparts having been wiped out by poaching for its horn. The other four are spread between Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya with the last one in the Czech Republic at Dvur Kralove Zoo.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is hoping the other four rhino species won’t follow this trend. Unfortunately one rhino is still being poached every eight hours in South Africa. The park is hosting “Rally 4 rhinos” on May 15, Endangered Species Day. This day will raise awareness of the rhinos plight and the urgent needs to protect them.
Photo Credit: San Diego Zoo Safari Park