Thandi and Themba…

Thandi and Themba - Happy Days

My first blog post will most definitely start with a special lady… a lady called Thandi and a boy called Themba.

How did I meet her, what is her story you might ask. Well… it started way back in 2012 and it is a story of pain and suffering, a story of tears, but also a story of courage, survival and hope…

It was a telephone call from my sister on a Saturday morning at around 10h00 and I remember so well, that it came so unexpected and that the hours afterwards changed the course of my life completely.

Her words echoed deep in my mind and I do not think that this echo will ever subside, as her words of despair and sadness came like a shock to me. I listened carefully and after our conversation I just sat there, in my chair and I tried to analyse what she just told me…

Three Rhinos were poached during the night of the 2nd of March 2012 in a Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape in South Africa. One Rhino died during the night, Bull #84 he was called, the other two were fighting for their lives, severely wounded… The rangers found the three Rhinos in the early morning hours, images that would remain in their minds forever…

The wildlife veterinarian, Dr William Fowlds was called to the scene and there it was, the dreaded sight, a Rhino boy called Themba… trying to get up, to walk, blood streaming down the open naval cavaties… He slowly approached Themba, managed to inject him with a dose of antibiotics and then Dr Fowlds gave him rest and time for the antibiotics to take effect, and to quickly attend to the second Rhino.

The sight that awaited him here, was even more devastating… This Rhino girl was lying there, in a huge pool of blood, her excruciating pain was clearly visible and he was faced with a very difficult decision… to end her suffering with the lethal injection or to give her a chance, to treat this Rhino and hope for the medicine to ease her pain?

He decided to give her a chance…

He injected the antibiotics and shortly after the antidote to the anaestatic and then suddenly she moved… a lot… she struggled and tried to lift her body to get up on her feet and then… nothing short of a miracle… she did it! She got up, the gaping wound on her face testomony of the evil that occurred a few hours before.. and she walked off, down-hill into the valley…

Seeing her like this left a huge knot in the veterinarian’s throat, his emotions ran deep, the impact of her wound, the evil that the human hand inflicted on these animals, and the relieve to have given her a second chance, was overwhelming…

And so their story begins….

Thandi and Themba…