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South African wildlife veterinarians treat wounded rhino whose horns were cut off by poachers

  • In this photo taken Friday, May 22, 2015 and supplied by Saving the Survivors, a rhino named Hope, stands in her pen in the Eastern Cape province, treated with a dressing where her horns used to be. Poachers had darted the rhino with a tranquilizer and then hacked off its horns while it was sedated, leaving the animal with a horrific wound covering much of its face. (Suzanne Boswell Rudham/Saving the Survivors via AP)

    In this photo taken Friday, May 22, 2015 and supplied by Saving the Survivors, a rhino named Hope, stands in her pen in the Eastern Cape province, treated with a dressing where her horns used to be. Poachers had darted the rhino with a tranquilizer and then hacked off its horns while it was sedated, leaving the animal with a horrific wound covering much of its face. (Suzanne Boswell Rudham/Saving the Survivors via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken Friday, May 22, 2015 and supplied by Saving the Survivors, a rhino named Hope, stands in her pen in the Eastern Cape province, treated with a dressing where her horns used to be. Poachers had darted the rhino with a tranquilizer and then hacked off its horns while it was sedated, leaving the animal with a horrific wound covering much of its face. (Suzanne Boswell Rudham/Saving the Survivors via AP)

    In this photo taken Friday, May 22, 2015 and supplied by Saving the Survivors, a rhino named Hope, stands in her pen in the Eastern Cape province, treated with a dressing where her horns used to be. Poachers had darted the rhino with a tranquilizer and then hacked off its horns while it was sedated, leaving the animal with a horrific wound covering much of its face. (Suzanne Boswell Rudham/Saving the Survivors via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Poachers in South Africa darted a rhino with a tranquilizer and then hacked off its horns while it was sedated, leaving the animal with a horrific wound covering much of its face. A couple of days later, staff on a wildlife reserve found the grievously injured rhino — alive.

Last week, veterinarians operated on the 4-year-old female, a rare survivor of an increasing wave of attacks by poachers who killed more than 1,200 rhinos in South Africa last year. They removed maggots and dead tissue, applied dressing and fastened a fiberglass cast with steel screws. The wound measures 50 by 28 centimeters (19.6 by 11 inches), the biggest of 10 similar cases that the team has treated in the last three years.

The rhino's rescuers gave her a name: Hope.