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Morkel, P., 1994. Chemical immobilization of the black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis): pp. 128-135

In: Penzhorn, B.L. et al. Proceedings of a symposium on rhinos as game ranch animals. Onderstepoort, Republic of South Africa, 9-10 September 1994: pp. i-iv, 1-242

Location: World
Subject: Physiology
Species: Black Rhino

Original text on this topic:
Body temperature is an important parameter to be monitored in the immobilized black rhino and the best indicator of the degree of exertion before and during induction. It is important to remember that rhino are thermolabile and their body temperature varies slightly during the day as the ambient temperature changes . Black rhino immobilized without excessive exertion have a rectal temperature of between 36 and 39?C. A black rhino immobilized with minimal exertion (eg in a boma) on a cold winters morning may have a temperature as low as 35,5-36?C, while a rhino immobilized with moderate exertion on a hot afternoon can have a temperature of 39,5?C. Young rhino tend to have a higher body temperature than adult rhino after running a comparable distance. There is usually a slight increase (0,3-0,5?C) in rectal temperature a few minutes after induction as the heat moves from the musculature to the general circulation. An animal with a body temperature of greater than 38,5?C must be doused with water to cool it down. Dousing with water is important but there is considerable thermal inertia in an animal as big as a rhino and dousing with water will not have a dramatic effect in lowering the body temperature. Making shade for a recumbent rhino will also help to keep the temperature down. A rhino with a temperature over 39,5? must be processed as quickly as possible (consider only doing the priority tasks). A body temperature of greater than 41?C indicates marked exertion and immediate antagonism should be considered.

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