Uganda Wild Authority has lost one of its female rhinos, which died last week on February 28, 2021.
The rhino was named Nandi and was aged 22.
It was one of the few being kept at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.
UWA said Nandi had been battling an unknown illness.
“Nandi’s health started deteriorating with loss of body weight and reduced activity, which were noticed around August 2020. Her resting, feeding and drinking behaviour were not normal as was known before. By that time, Nandi was expecting her seventh calf. She could therefore, not be handled like any other sick rhino in her condition; a lot of care had to be taken to avoid putting her life and that of the unborn calf in danger,” said Bashir Hangi the UWA Communications Manager
“UWA veterinarians have been at the sanctuary several times to manage every stage of her health condition that included administering antibiotics, de-wormers, and picking of samples for further investigations. Information was also being shared with rhino experts.”
Hangi says initially it was suspected that Nandi had intestinal worms and relevant remedies were applied but did not yield fruit.
“Nandi was safely immobilized by our veterinary doctors on 27th January 2021 for further examination. Samples were picked and tests conducted at Lancet laboratories and the National Animal Disease Diagnostic and Epidemiology Centre,” he added.
“To be specific, Nandi presented with low sodium and chloride, low creatinine but normal urea, low bilirubin, elevated Aspartate Amino Transferase (AST) and total protein with very low albumin. The calcium and phosphorus values were within normal range.
“Additional haematology tests were done on advice from rhino experts and they indicated no presence of trypanosomiasis, babesiosis, anaplasmosis or theileria parva as suspected by ourselves and other rhino experts.”
A later post-mortem report showed that the animal had a generalized proliferation and enlargement of all the lymph nodes indicating lymphoproliferative disorder, which may be neoplasm or granulomatous disease. Other significant lesions in advanced stage were observed in the lungs, kidneys and along the gastro intestinal tract (GIT).
Nandi was brought together with Hassani (a male rhino) to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary from the Disney Animal Kingdom, Florida, USA in September 2006.
By the time of her death, Nandi had successfully calved seven times with the latest being on 9th January 2021. She was laid to rest on March 1, 2021 at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.