Nashornschutz *Eye in the Sky*

Nashornschutz *Eye in the Sky*

Mit Leichtbauflugzeugen werden Flüge über dem Park durchgeführt. Die Piloten lokalisieren dabei die Position der Nashörner und können diese den Field Rangern mitteilen. So findet der Schutz am Boden statt. Auch finden die Piloten aus der Luft verwaiste Babytiere, die gerettet werden können.
Hier eine sehr, sehr schöne Geschicht aus dem MANYELETI NATURE RESERVE:
Hi Theresa.
Once again the Friends of African Wildlife Bat Hawk came to the rescue of rhino’s on Manyeleti Nature Reserve.
On Wednesday afternoon 15 October 2014 a colleague of mine reported seeing two young rhino calves on their own near the Pod mahoganies. I went and found them and then began a complicated process of arranging to capture them, as their condition was very poor.
Bruce and I tried locating them on Friday 17 October, but had to give up due to very dangerous weather conditions. When Bruce says it is getting a “little difficult to control the aircraft”, and he thinks we should land. I tend to agree with him very quickly.
We searched for them on the ground to no avail. When they were seen it was too late to get the capture team in.
Weather conditions conspired against us until Tuesday 21 October when we finally could get into the air.
We took off at 07H30 and flew grid patterns for about two hours without finding the two rhino’s. We were about to give up, but decided to give it one more go. At 09H00 Bruce spotted them and we headed back to our airstrip. Bruce went to re-fill the Bat Hawk in Hoedspruit.
After much scurrying around our Game Capture team managed arrange a Bell Huey from Working on Fire.
They arrived at Main Camp at about 13H00 at about the same time that Bruce arrived overhead.
While we were still en-route to where Bruce and I had last seen them, they walked across the road in-front of us. Ertjies Rhom, the M.T.P.A. Game Capture manager quickly made up some darts and got their equipment together and with guidance from Bruce they managed to locate and dart the larger of the two calves. The two animals trotted off for about 1km with Bruce reporting their position to the guys on the ground. The darted animals slowed down and we managed to catch up with them again. Ertjies then darted the second rhino which ran off in an easterly direction with Bruce monitoring it and a group of Manyeleti Field Rangers following it on the ground.
We stabilized the first animal, and called in the helicopter. Bruce then called us and said that the second animal was down and that it was not reacting well to the drug.
As soon as the helicopter landed Ertjies took other Field Rangers and went to load the second animal.
They stabilized the animal and started administering saline drips and Vitamin B complex. They had to carry the rhino a fair distance to the helicopter and load it.
They then returned to load the second rhino and by 14H37 they were in the air and on their way to Care for the Wild Africa Rehabilitation Centre near Barberton. The centre is run by Petronel Niewoudt and specializes in caring for young rhino’s

Thank you Bruce for flying under difficult and windy conditions. Your experience with not only flying, but conservation and game capture proved invaluable.
Please pass on our thanks to all the sponsors and donors that keep the Bat Hawk in the air.
Appreciation also to Chris Austen of Working on Fire for sponsoring and assisting with the helicopter and to the pilot Egmont van Dijk.

Safe Flying Bruce and Theresa.

Regards Mark Bourn

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