A rhinoceros who was mutilated by poachers in South Africa has been giving an amazing chance to recover by receiving a skin graft from an elephant.
The female rhino, named iThema, was attacked by poachers two weeks ago who also killed her baby.
The operation was funded by Saving The Survivors, a not for profit organisation, and the skin came from an elephant who died of natural causes.
Photo: Saving The Survivors
Johan Marais, the veterinarian who performed the surgery, said “This is the first time we are using elephant skin to heal a wound on a rhinoceros.”
“We are now having to deal with wounds and horrific injuries that no one has ever had to deal with before, such is the scale and severity of poaching and the injuries that animals are left with.”
Demand for rhino horns is growing across China and South-East Asia. The horns are prized for their beauty, monetary value and supposed medicinal purposes.