The collaborative effort to find Bahati, the snared rhino calf, continues into the weekend. Last year, he survived a bullet wound to the neck when his mother was killed by poachers. Some forty Big Life and other rangers were out at dawn to resume the search.
Dispersing across the rugged terrain, one team went back to Bahati’s last known location, and other teams moved into surrounding areas and checked camera traps. The spotter plane was up at first light flying transects, and Dr. Poghorn, the Kenya Wildlife Service vet, remained on site, his dart gun filled with sedatives, ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.
Three days into the search, the rangers did not stop until darkness forced them back to base. Bahati is still out there, but the rangers tracking him found many encouraging signs today, including fresh dung and evidence that he has been feeding. He also appears to be staying within the same general area, which helps to narrow the search grid.
While looking for Bahati, the rangers found and removed a bushmeat snare from the area. That’s one less animal who will suffer alone in the bush tonight.
Tomorrow, it will be all hands on deck again as the search continues to find this resilient little rhino. Rangers, pilots, and vets will be up with the sun and will do everything within their power to close the gap. Perhaps tomorrow will be Bahati’s lucky day.
Lala salama, little Bahati.