CT Scan – Helped Save Life Of Rhino After Poachers

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“Just found this video & wanted to add it as part of the previous one!  Wildlife veterinary expert, Doctor William Fowlds, from the Kariega Game Reserve contacted Witmer Lab at Ohio University, for help in treating Themba & Thindi. They were able to do a CT of a rhino head, which gave Dr Fowlds the knowledge & understanding of the complex underlying bone, nasal tissue & nerves which he needed to treat the rhino. Unfortunately Themba passed away from a leg injury related to the night of the poaching in March. But with the knowledge from the CT scan, Dr Fowlds managed to save the life of Thindi who continues to thrive in the expert care of the team at Kariega Game Reserve.” 


Published on 31 May 2012 by 

South Africa is home to more than 80 percent of Africa’s remaining rhinoceroses, most of which live in national parks and reserves.

But even in these protected areas, hundreds of rhinos are killed each year by poachers responding to a skyrocketing demand for rhino horn, which is used in Asian traditional medicine.

Often, poachers sever the horns while the animals are still alive. Poachers attacked three rhinos at the Kariega Game Reserve in March 2012. One rhino died of his injuries shortly after.

The two surviving rhinos suffered serious damage to their sinus cavities where the horns were removed. A veterinarian working with the reserve contacted WitmerLab at Ohio University, where researchers use high-tech imaging and digital modeling to study the morphology of vertebrate heads.

The researchers scanned a 120-kilogram white rhino head from their storage facility and used the images to create a detailed model of the nasal passages of an adult white rhino, which helped the reserve treat the severely injured animals.

This latest Bio Bulletin from the American Museum of Natural History‘s Science Bulletins program is on display in the Hall of Biodiversity until July 6, 2012. 

Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History. Find out more about Science Bulletins at http://www.amnh.org/sciencebulletins/.

Related Links

WitmerLab at Ohio University

Kariega Game Reserve: Save the Rhino

South Africa National Parks: Statistics for Poaching

OU professor, students answer call for help from South Africa

IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesCeratotherium simum

World Wildlife Foundation: African Rhino Poaching Crisis




Anatomical impact of horn poaching in rhinos based on CT scanning

Comments Off on Anatomical impact of horn poaching in rhinos based on CT scanning

“With the recent tragic deaths of 4 more Rhino being killed, (literally for the same thing our finger nails grow of,)  this video shows just how much the rhino suffer at poachers hands. One might think taking off the horn with an electric saw or similar would not have much effect on the rhino, if done properly & professionally by vets, it doesn’t…but when done by ugly poachers who don’t care about the rhino after they have their treasure etc. it has a huge impact of their survival rate.

Remember Themba & Thandi, (links below) the 2 rhino found wandering around with their horns hacked off. Sadly Themba (HOPE) suffered a leg injury on the night he was poached and as a result of infection passed away on the morning of the 26 of March 2012 . six months after their brutal attack, Thandi continues to show incredible fighting strength and miraculous recovery, she was one of a very few, lucky ones.”

Published on 20 Sep 2012 by 

http://bit.ly/V47Kxy. This video presents an animation that seeks to replicate the anatomical impact of rhino-horn poaching, drawing on experience with the rhinos that were poached at the Kariega Game Reserve.

Rhinos are being injured and killed at an alarming rate to satisfy the illegal trade in rhino horn. This video is intended to draw attention to new, freely-available anatomical resources that can help in the treatment and care of rhinoceroses, as well as in the education of the public.

WitmerLab at Ohio University partnered with O’Bleness Hospital in Athens, OH, to generate the most complete CT scan dataset ever collected for an adult rhinoceros head (http://on.fb.me/H4kTks).

We scanned the head completely from front to back with slices only 300 microns (= 0.3 mm = 0.0118 inches) thick. The subject was Kehtla, a male white rhinoceros well known to generations of Phoenix, AZ, residents. In 1963, he was brought as a two-year-old from Natal, South Africa, to the Phoenix Zoo.

He passed away from cancer in 2003 at the age of 42. At that time, his head was air-freighted to WitmerLab for anatomical study. We removed the horns for a study published in 2006 (http://bit.ly/bnlspj) on how rhino horns grow and attach to the skull.

To generate this movie, four different CT scan datasets were assembled by Ryan Ridgely using Avizo (http://on.fb.me/GZMmoi).

The full CT dataset is available from WitmerLab, as are high resolution slice movies comparable to this movie. For news from WitmerLab, visit http://www.ohio.edu/witmerlab or our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/witmerlab).

If you want to help the rhinos, go here:http://www.kariega.co.za/about-us/help-save-our-rhino-project.




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