Posted on February 2, 2022 at 4:26 PM by Blog Author
Tumani the five year old juvenile Eastern black rhino recently fractured and, ultimately, lost her front horn. The cause of the fracture could not be determined, but we suspect the fracture was a result of ordinary play and activity. Veterinary and keeper staff have been monitoring her and treating her with antibiotics for several weeks, able to move the horn, wash out the site and apply ointment to prevent a bacterial infection. Her training has been invaluable in this process, as she has participated in her continued care voluntarily. After several weeks of the horn remaining 80% removed, veterinary staff chose to remove the remainder of the horn, to prevent further injury.
Under the watchful eye of her care team, Tumani is under continued treatment and receiving excellent care from her keepers and veterinary staff.
Eastern black rhinos have two horns, consisting primarily of keratin – a protein found in hair and fingernails. Rhino horns grow continuously throughout their lifetime, with the front horn growing quicker than the second. According to our veterinarian, losing a rhino horn is neither a frequent occurrence or an infrequent occurrence. It is just unfortunate. We are optimistic that the horn will grow back in the coming years.
Tumani's removed horn has been released to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.