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Wallach, J.D., 1969. Hand-rearing and observations of a white rhinoceros Diceros s. simus. International Zoo Yearbook 9: 103-104, tables 1-2

Location: Africa - Southern Africa - South Africa
Subject: Management
Species: White Rhino

Original text on this topic:
Ceratotherium simum handreared in Umfolozi GR, South Africa.
In mid October of 1965 a female White rhino Diceros s. simus and a known 21 day old female calf were immobilised with M-99, hyoscine, and acetyl promazine, tagged and translocated into Umfolozi Game Reserve from tilled land because of damage they were causing to fences.
At the Game Reserve the calf failed to rejoin its mother during an observed time of 24 hours, probably from a combination of exhaustion and residual drug efflects, so it was decided to attempt to hand-rear the rejected calf. One previous success in hand-rearing a White rhino was recorded at Pretoria Zoo (Bigalke, 1946). The baby rhinoceros was placed in a three sided garage measuring 6 x 6 m and two litres of a 5 per cent dextrose-electrolyte solution was administered per rectum to restore depleted blood sugar and tissue fluids.
The first two nights in the garage she attempted to climb over the log barriers and made 'dummy' charges at quick movements and loud noises. She dozed only in my presence so that the first two nights were spent sleeping with her. Then, to free me for other duties, a ram sheep was placed with her for companionship.
To approximate the low fat milk of the rhinoceros (see Table 1) we provided a diet made up of 227 g of skim milk powder, 227 g calf milk replacer, two tablespoons of a vitamin-mineral enriched skim milk, and 2.25 litres of water. Feeds were given every 4 hours for the first week after which time the 0200 hours feeding was omitted. The first feed was refused when placed
directly in a baby bath and so the young rhino was enticed to drink by soaking the mixture into a sponge and allowing her to suck the sponge. The sponge was gradually lobvered into the tub and after a few attempts the animal was drinking from the tub. No attempt was made to nibble at the grass and hay provided until 2 months of age when the grass was chewed dry then let fall from her mouth. By four months of age grass was being consumed in quantity between the milk- feeds.
The young rhinoceros was constipated upon arrival, probably as a result of dehydration associated with capture. Symptoms were relieved in 24 hours by administering 2 tablespoons of fig juice with her milk ration.
First tooth eruptions occurred at 70 days; both left and right lower first premolars appeared. At 76 days the opposing upper premolars erupted. Both sets of eruption were accompanied by a rise in rectal temperature to 37.8? C (100F) and 38.4?C (101.1F) respectively, loss of appetite and diarrhoea. Cool water was provided to wallow in and clinical symptoms disappeared in 24 hours.
At the age of five and one-half months, the baby rhino was moved to a larger pen where she continued to do well. At seven months of age she was transported to Queen Elizabeth Park in Pietermaritzburg where she still lives.

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