On the 28thFeb 2021, saddening news broke out that the female rhino in Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary had had its last breath. The female rhino identified as Nandi lost the battle of yet unidentified illness. The bad news was availed on the 2nd March 2021 by the Uganda Wildlife Authority in a press release. Below is a sneak peek of what prevailed before and after the death of Nandi as quoted in the press release;
Nandi started debilitating with loss of body size and activeness in August 2020. The drinking and feeding behaviour of the deceased rhino were not normal. And this was in time when it was expecting a calf. The veterinary doctors were called in to study the situation and also discover what was wrong with the expecting rhino. The first treatment was taken as Nandi was given antibiotics and deworming was also done. Blood samples were taken to make further diagnosis. The results came out and read that Nandi had low sodium and chloride but most of the other body minerals were normal.
The treatment and care has been going on to save Nandi but unfortunately, yesterday she could not carry on as she succumbed to death on the night of 28th Feb. 2021.
A post-mortem was carried out on 1st march 2021 by a team of pathologist of Makerere university and UWA veterinarians. Results showed a generalised proliferation and enlargement of all the lymph nodes indicating lymphoproliferative disorder, which may be neoplasm or granulomatous disease. Other significant lesions in advanced stage were observed in the lungs, kidneys and along the gastro intestinal tract.
Nandi has been residing in the only rhino ranch in Uganda located in Nakasangola district within the proximity of Murchison falls national park. The Zziwa Rhino sanctuary was started in the early 1990s to reintroduce the extinct rhinos. To date, the ranch which started out with five rhinos has 25. The adult rhinos have been giving birth to offspring and also others have been being brought into the sanctuary.
The death of Nandi the female rhino is really a huge blow to the rhino conservation fraternity and wildlife at large.