Dr Charles van Niekerk, the wildlife vet in charge, has issued the following statement:
“The postmortem supported by laboratory tests indicate that abnormal heart, liver and kidney conditions contributed towards the death of the rhino while immobilized. Each of these lesions on their own would not have been uncommon in a rhino of this age, however, cumulatively they would compromise the health of the rhino. Poisoning as a cause of death has been specifically ruled out by toxicology tests done at Onderstepoort. The presence of body fat would indicate that, despite these underlying conditions, the rhino was eating well and in good condition, thus making it difficult to identify these processes on visual inspection of the animal. Any immobilization puts the body under stress exacerbating underlying pathology. A lung odeoma was found during the postmortem which is also typically associated with the immobilization process.”
Why do we have to put healthy rhino through stressful and potentially dangerous procedures?
This is why: http://www.davidbatzofin.com/2011/11/ugly-side-of-illegal-rhino-poaching.html