JOHANNESBURG – A high-value target survives two attempts on her life. After recovering from gunshot wounds, she is secretly moved to an undisclosed location in hopes that the killers won't track her down again.
This isn't a Hollywood thriller about a hunted witness in a police protection program. It is the tale of Phila, one of a growing number of rhinos that survive horrific injuries during attempts by poachers to hack off their horns.
In a new push, veterinarians are racing to learn more about rhino anatomy so they can swiftly treat survivors of attacks by poachers.
The South African government says a record 668 rhinos were killed in the country in 2012. Demand is growing in Vietnam and elsewhere in Asia where rhino horn is falsely believed to have medical benefits.