I first heard the phrase “sharing is caring” in 2003 while being forced to watch Barney and Friends with the children for the millionth time. Over the years all of us have continued to use it, particularly when trying to manipulate another member of the family to give us something of theirs we think we need. However, in this last month, the true meaning of the phrase came to light.
A short while back Petronel Nieuwoudt, Founder of Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary whom Spirit Wildlife Fund supports ventured out to a private game reserve with Dr Ferreira Du Plessis and Dr Marita Raath to collect blood from free-roaming adult white rhinos. This blood was then separated and processed with the purpose being that there would be a supply of plasma or PRBC (packed red blood cells) available to orphaned or injured rhino should they need it. Plasma is the clear liquid portion of blood that remains after the red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and other cellular components are removed. It is the single largest component of blood and contains lifesaving water, salts, enzymes, proteins and extremely important antibodies.
The cry for help came a lot sooner than expected and just a few days ago John, a staff member from Care for Wild was sent along with some frozen plasma on an urgent mission from Mpumulanga to Zululand so that vets could administer it to a newly born calf. We sincerely hope it makes a difference and that the calf will go on to live a long life.
And that brings us back to the point of sharing is caring. The fight to stop the rhino or any animal for that matter from becoming extinct should never be about any one person. It is about working together, building relationships, sharing information and even sharing blood if it comes down to it.
Another word we use a lot in our house is Ohana. We learned it from a movie called Lilo and Stitch we watched back in 2002. Simply explained, Ohana means family, and family means nobody gets left behind. Wouldn’t it be great if that were the case for rhino, elephants, lion and every other animal living on the endangered species list?
Spirit Wildlife Fund is currently raising money for a new intensive care unit. This unit will enable vets to do more on site, and it will also help the team in those early days of rehabilitation.
Please donate if you can assist. Please use the letters ICU as the reference.
We thank you for your support and for caring about the world we all live in.