A baby rhino named Gertjie now refuses to sleep alone after he witnessed the death of his mother.
The baby rhino was found in the wilds of South Africa crying inconsolably at the side of his mother’s body. He was eventually sedated and transported to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, which focuses on the conservation of rare, vulnerable or endangered animals. They said the following:
A three-month-old baby rhino, anticipated to have been born on [or] around the 19 February, was brought to the HESC after being found next to his dead mother who had been tragically and brutally poached for her horn.
It was a devastating sight, as the tiny animal would not leave her side, and was crying inconsolably for her.
Once there he spent his first night with a human minder and a sheep called Skaap. She acts as a surrogate mother to all the animals looked after at the centre. Following on from that, staff took it in turn to feed him every three hours and slept outside his room to ensure he was fed at regular intervals. Skaap also cleans up after him from time to time.
After four months, staff are slowly starting to wean him off his night feeds and he’s built up his strength by taking daily walks. It’s hoped that he’ll be able to be reintroduced into the wild when he can be weaned off milk for good after he has reached 18 months.
Let’s hope in that time nobody breaks into his enclosure and rides him like this dude did one time when he was visiting the zoo.