The baby rhino was left for dead by the poachers. https://t.co/pEi1paXSla— Metro (@MetroUK) August 30, 2018
A heart-wrenching photo of a white rhino calf has once again put the spotlight on poaching in South Africa.
The calf, which has been named "Arthur," was photographed cowering beside its mother in South Africa's Kruger National Park.
The mother was hunted down and killed by poachers for horns and during the attack the calf reportedly tried to protect her.
The attackers also injured the calf with machetes. In the photo, it can be seen with a hunter's dart lodged in its back.
Around 80 percent of the world's nearly 29,000 rhinos are found in South Africa. However, that population has forever been under threat of poaching.
National Geographic Channel found some 1,028 rhinos were illegally killed in 2017. Although the number was 26, fewer than in 2016, but it's still not ended, partly because of political corruption.
“Clearly poachers will go for the easiest targets, and if South Africa's main crime fighting institutions are failing to coordinate their efforts to prevent poaching effectively, then the country's rhinos will inevitably be targeted,” Richard Thomas, a spokesman for TRAFFIC, an NGO working globally on trade in wild animals and plants.
Care for Wild Rhino, a nearby rhino orphanage, and UK-based South Lakes Safari Zoo have pledged to take care of Arthur.
It has been under treatment for its wounds for nearly three months.
While the calf is gradually getting better, reports say it still calls out for its mother sometimes.
"Arthur is on the road to recovery, he has made friends at the sanctuary with fellow Rhino orphan Summer, Looney – trainee puppy with the K9 Unit – and is a firm favorite with his care givers,” the South Lakes Safari Zoo states on its website.
“Arthur will be emotionally scarred for a long time – long after his physical wounds have healed.”
Banner / Thumbnail : Photo credit should read Anuwar Ali Hazarika/BarcroftImag / Barcroft Media via Getty Images