South African veterinarian fits elephant skin bandage onto face of rhino injured by poachers

Veterinarians in South Africa have treated an injured rhino whose face was mutilated by poachers by fitting it with a bandage made of elephant skin.

Dr. Johan Marais told The Associated Press on Friday that he is experimenting with the elephant skin cover because plastic or fiberglass shields can be too rigid to fit the contours of an injured rhino’s face.

Marais, an equine and wildlife surgeon at the University of Pretoria, says he got the elephant skin from a taxidermist.

Saving the Survivors, a group that treats rhinos with poaching injuries, says the rhino was shot Aug. 5 and poachers cut off one of the rhino’s horns after it collapsed. But they apparently fled before cutting off the second horn, possibly because the wounded rhino got to its feet.

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