I am sad to report that Floppy the Rhino died on Friday afternoon last week. It was all very sudden and all over in an hour.
Since our last update it went very well with Floppy. His bandages came off and the wounds had healed beautifully. The triumph was him taking his first steps outside the clinic and to have the opportunity to enjoy some sunlight which he desperately needed. He enjoyed it so much that getting him back to his room at night became a problem…he did not want to go back! He showed his stubborn streak once more, which I suppose must be a natural thing when one does not feel quite normal and uses this as a barrier. He eventually got use to the crowds of people moving through the Rehab on tour and was so up front that he introduced himself to the visitors all by himself. As soon as the tour group would come his way he would get up and walk straight into the middle of the group standing there waiting to get some attention. There was always a student by his side and accompanied him where he wanted to go 24/7.
Around a week ago he developed diarrhea. This carried on for about 3 days, and in this time he stayed inside the clinic.
On Friday morning 18 July 2008, Floppy still looked quite happy and was moving around in the clinic as usual, he even gave Stuart a bash or two. Natalie then noticed a change in his behavior which was quite sudden; he gave about 10 coughs and became very unsteady on his feet. Brian was called in and observed the situation and new his time was up. Floppy then laid down breathing heavily, gave a few gasps of air and within a few minutes was gone. It was devastating to those who watched over him night and day. We are gratefully to each one of you for your dedication and especially Natalie for her untiring love and care.
We had an Autopsy done which showed that he had 6 broken ribs, this he had from the day he came to the rehab. His heart, Liver, Lungs and kidneys were full of abscesses. One of his kidneys was totally destroyed. The cause of death was a hemorrhage in his lung.
The Vet, Dr Peter Rodgers stated that he could not believe that this little guy survived this long with all these injuries. He could only account it to the dedication and love from the staff and students here at Moholoholo Rehab Centre.
We will miss Floppy terribly.