JOHANNESBURG – A year ago, a South African rhino survived a horrific attack by poachers who hacked off her horns and part of her face. This month, the rhino dubbed Hope is undergoing a new facial reconstruction, usually reserved for humans, that is designed to reduce the gaping wound over her exposed sinus cavities.
Wildlife veterinarians have fixed a system of medical elastic bands across the rhino's wound and will assess the results next week. The bands are meant to act like shoelaces, stretching skin on both sides closer together.
The equipment was donated by Canadian company Southmedic through its South African distributor, Surgitech.
The rhino named Hope was darted by poachers, who severed her horns while she was sedated, fracturing her nasal bone and exposing her sinus cavities and nasal passage.