By Mikey Jones
These incredible photos show the moment a plucky rhino wrangler subdued an injured beast to give it a full ‘health MOT’ – by grabbing it by the TAIL.
Taken by Rainer Schimpf, 51, on the Eastern Cape of South Africa, the injured rhino was tracked down by a conservation team using a helicopter.
The images show the dangerous mammal being located before a vet fires a tranquilliser dart to anaesthetise it and a team member guides it to the ground by holding it by the tail.
Once safely unconscious, the team can be seen getting to work giving the animal a once over before dressing a suspected gunshot wound and inserting a small tracking microchip into its horn.
Professional photographer Rainer said: “The microchip in the horn lasts for only a certain amount of time so it has to be replaced once a year.
“If poaching takes place then one can trace where the horn is going and who the parties are who have conducted those crimes.”
“The whole process took about 45 minutes.”
The rhino, which lives at an undisclosed location on the Eastern Cape, was shot with a tranquilliser dart.
Rainer added: “It’s quite said that about 2,000 rhinos are poached a year.
“The price of a rhino is equivalent to the gold price so the value of the rhino horn pictured would have been up to $50,000 USD [£38,000].”