Hope – The first rhino to receive groundbreaking surgery

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Tuesday 03 May 2016 saw the first ever groundbreaking procedure where human surgery was adapted to save a Rhino’s life. Six-year-old Hope was drugged by poachers who then left her with half her face hacked away. Following multiple operations Hope still had a gaping cavity on her face that was constantly troubled by maggots and flies.
Hope who is now seen as an ambassador for rhino poaching crisis in S.A. made history on Tuesday as she became the first Rhino to undergo human abdominal surgery technology in hope that it would heal the massive wound sustained by the poachers in May last year.

The system uses elasticized cords to draw wounds closed, stimulating cell regeneration. As Hope’s wound closes, collagen will be inserted to encourage cell regeneration.
The world famous rhino clung for her dear life as the team of top wildlife vets conducted the hour long surgery on a plot of land in Limpopo.
The team of wildlife experts gently stitched the elastymers, imported from Canada by Surgitec, on to Hope’s battered face to close the massive cavity on her face. A procedure where the tissue is pulled without destroying any cells.

Johan Marais, a wildlife vet and founder of Saving the Survivors said that after months of searching, Elephant skin had to be grown to replace hopes skin as elephant skin allows for orthopedic wire to go through it and it doesn’t tear out.
Chris du Plessis,a product manager at Surgitech, who helped place the elastymer on her face, is hopeful it will work. “Look, it’s never been used on any animal, and never on a rhino.”

Now only time will tell. The team of leading wildlife experts will have to wait two weeks to see if the surgery works and hold fast to the hope that the feisty rhino doesn’t rip off her new skin.

Extracts – IOL news (photo credit – The star)