#FindBahiti: The Search for a Snared Rhino Calf Begins
A motion-detecting camera trap set up in the Tsavo National Park in Kenya has captured distressing images of a rhino calf with a deep snare wound round his neck, initiating a park-wide search for the injured animal.
Rangers in the area know this particular rhino very well.
Last year, poachers shot and killed the his mother and took her horns. During the attack, the calf also took a bullet to the neck, but somehow escaped into the night.
“We were sure that the bullet wound would kill him,” said Jeremy Goss of Kenya-based Big Life Foundation. “But In the end, he survived.”
He was named Bahati, meaning ‘good luck’ in Swahili.
“Since then, we have watched him grow up via images caught on camera traps—from his initial recovery from the bullet wound to his stumbling attempts to form social bonds with other rhinos.”
But yesterday, one of the same camera traps turned up images of Bahiti with a poacher’s snare embedded deep in his neck. These snares that are designed to kill rhinos—made from a thick cable that pulled tight around Bahati’s neck as he walked through.
After what must have been a terrible and painful struggle, he broke free from the snare.
“It’s a testament to the character of this rhino that he was able to get free,” said Goss. “But now he is roaming the bush with a deep snare wound, and if we don’t find him in time to remove the snare and treat the wound, Bahiti will die.”
The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) was quick to react to the news, and rangers from both KWS and Big Life flooded the area this morning, searching relentlessly all day.