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Regenerative medicine and superior pain treatment brings hope for our endangered rhino

Rhino Pride Foundation and Novita Biotechnology collaborate in developing pioneering treatment medicine for injured rhinos. Photographer: Armand Hough

Rhino Pride Foundation and Novita Biotechnology collaborate in developing pioneering treatment medicine for injured rhinos. Photographer: Armand Hough

Published Dec 16, 2021

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Cape Town - As the resurgence of Rhino poaching picks up, Rhino Pride Foundation and Novita Biotechnology have teamed up to give regenerative medicine and biotechnology healthcare to surviving rhinos in order to help them receive superior pain treatment and help with better long-term care.

With rhinos being ruthlessly hunted by organised crime cartels, the partnership aims to develop a cooperative healthcare outreach programme, using regenerative chondroprotective treatment medicine, through the injection of systemic Hyaluronic Acid and Proglycan treatments, which are revolutionary in pain management and long-term quality of life of rhinos.

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Specialist wildlife veterinarian and Rhino Pride Foundation founder Dr Jana Pretorius said that the partnership would not only give hope, but also increase the number of rhino saved from death after they had been injured by poachers.

“Regenerative medicine aims to recover the normal function of diseased or damaged cells, tissues and organs, and speed up healing and bone strength. This long-term partnership with Novita Biotech will set the foundations for the future treatment of injured rhino and increase the numbers of rhino saved from death, giving a glimmer of hope for the future of our rhino in Africa,” said Pretorius.

The programme saw Junior, who is survivor of a poaching attempt receive treatment for a bullet wound and an abscess at the rehabilitation and hospital facility after the removal of numerous bone fragments which caused the rhino bull, weighing over 2 000 kilograms, a lot of pain and discomfort.

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Novita Biotechnology CEO Alexandra Miszewski said that what inspired the partnership was the model of their business, which was based on hope.

“When I heard Junior’s story and the fact that despite all this adversity, he still managed to survive, and you know with the dire situation we are in, I thought you know, he is a symbol of hope, despite all these complications and issues he faced.

“With hope being our business model, I thought along his story, the treatment could give hope to a lot more Rhinos we can save, especially those that don't always get to the point where Junior was,” said Miszewski.

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With a tremendous increase in rhino poaching and the high cost of feeding rhinos, many private rhino owners have had to give up their rhinos. However, the Rhino Pride Foundation stepped in, providing a safe haven for these rhinos, thus becoming the first unique ultra-high security sanctuary for privately owned rhinos in the world.

Inspired and passionate about the future of healthy rhino populations, Dr Pretorius said that the medical-first partnership with Novita Biotech would not only be educational, but also a champion for change during this time.

“We are focused on initiatives such as this medical-first partnership with Novita Biotech, so we can continue to educate our future generations to be our wildlife conservationists and champions so that we might treat all living creatures with integrity and respect,” said Pretorius.

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