The full history about Thandi and her story of survival
The personal story of what Angie Goody (founder of the TESA charity) witnessed when working with rhinos that had been poached for their horns back in 2012.
Kariega Game Reserve, South Africa
Horn Poaching Mutilation
Medical Aid, Speed Is Critical
Thandi Survives, Two Other Rhinos Die
Kariega Game Reserve, South Africa
Thandi and Themba left fighting for survival
In 2012 three rhinos were darted and their faces hacked for their horns. Only two were found alive...
The privately owned Kariega Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape of South Africa was subject to a number of brutal rhino poachings the last incident being back in 2012 where 3 of their rhinos had been darted and their faces hacked for their horn. One rhino died that night due to his injuries but two were found alive although somewhat disfigured. It was decided by vet Dr William Fowlds and Kariega Game reserve that the rhinos where to be given a reversal drug to wake them up and, thus, give them a chance. Angie Goody was at Kariega as a volunteer and became a part of the team administering the drips and helping to bring the two surviving rhinos back to good health.
Thandi after being attacked by poachers who left her and two other rhinos to die.
The two rhinos were named Thandi (meaning Love in Xhosa), an adult female, and Themba (meaning Brave & Courageous), a young male. The team was led by Dr Fowlds, who treated the rhinos every few days out in the bush. Whilst Thandi was showing significant improvement as the weeks went on, despite everything she had been through young, Themba slowly deteriorated. His facial injuries were not as bad as Thandi's but sadly, due to the way he had fallen and laid during the poaching, the circulation in his leg had been cut off due to his sheer weight. This sadly never came back and his back leg was suffering badly as a result. After each procedure, however, he would come back with such gusto but it was short lived and on the 25th March he was found lying dead in a watering hole. It was believed he just literally laid down, gave up and died. A sad day for so many involved, especially Dr Fowlds who had tried so desperately hard to give the young rhino a chance of survival.
Research into Themba's death has helped other rhinos to survive their injuries from poaching...
Survivors are so rare and so little was known at the time as to what other trauma the rhinos suffer when at the hands of the poachers. Despite Themba losing his battle for survival, it wasn't in vain as more research was carried out after his death and has since helped other survivors.
Surprise discovery during pioneering skin grafts on Thandi's face
Using three different techniques the surgeons grafted skin to Thandi's stump.
Thandi though went from strength to strength and, after pioneering skin grafts on her face were attempted in late 2013, blood tests showed that she was in the early stages of pregnancy - a miracle in itself. Rhinos are pregnant for 16 months so it was going to be a long wait. In October 2014 Angie Goody went back to Kariega Game Reserve as an intern to monitor Thandi in her late stages of pregnancy. Angie kept everyone informed of Thandi's well-being and, on the 13th January 2015, Thandi gave birth to a healthy female rhino calf. The calf was named Thembi meaning hope in Xhosa - a language that is spoken throughout South Africa.
Inspiration for Thandi's Endangered Species Association
Thembi the baby rhino calf was born on the 13th January 2015.
It was Thandi's story that inspired Angie to commit her efforts to Rhino Conservation and, shortly after returning from Kariega in 2012, Angie started a small organisation known as Thandi's Fund Raiser. It was from this that Thandi's Endangered Species Association was finally formed in late 2014 as an Isle of Man registered charity. Since 2012 the organisation has raised many thousands of pounds and donations have been made to purchase vital equipment such as tracking collars, DNA equipment, microchips, telemetry, ongoing treatments for Thandi, and much much more.
Three rhinos mutilated by poachers for their horns
Angie part of team that administer Thandi and Themba with treatments to wake them up and give them a chance.
Themba found dead
His death was due to circulation problems in one of his back legs, as a result of the way he fell during the poaching.
Thandi's Fund Raiser Founded
Thandi's story inspired Angie to commit to her efforts to Rhino Conservation.
Pioneering skin grafts, Thandi found pregnant
Blood tests showed that she was in the early stages of pregnancy, a miracle in itself.
Angie returns to Kariega as an intern
To monitor Thandi in her late stages of pregnancy and keep everyone informed of her well being.
Thandi's Endangered Species Association Formed
Evolving from the organisation Thandi's Fund Raiser and inspired by the continuing survival of the pregnant rhino Thandi.
Thandi gives birth to female calf Thembi
Thembi meaning hope in Xhosa a language that is spoken throughout South Africa.
Kariega Rhino Poaching Videos
Rhino File videos covering the Kariega poaching incident: