A baby rhino, estimated to be a week old, was taken to the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre, situated near Kampersrus. The dehydrated animal was found in the bush in the Ofcolaco area. "It appears to have been attacked by either a small predator or scavenger such as jackals. Its ears were badly bitten and we may not be able to do anything about it. It will probably eventually lose both ears," says Corrie van Wyk of Moholoholo.
"He is very thin and was almost dead when he arrived here with his body temperature being just above 34 degrees Celcius. We were able to raise his temperature by using blankets and hot water bottles. Within about half an hour his temperature was already up and he reacted by standing up."
Corrie says he then willingly drank some milk and "sucked on fingers for more." Dr Peter Rogers, a veterinarian from Hoedspruit, put him on a drip. "The baby has been drinking well and has been quite happy despite his dismal appearance. If he pulls through we will probably return him to the area in which he was found," Corrie concluded.
Due to the ongoing poaching of rhino in South Africa, many baby rhinos are left orphaned. A Limpopo based non-profit organization called The Rhino Orphanage's solemn goal is to care for orphaned baby rhino. At the orphanage, baby rhino are properly cared for and fed with a milk substitute, at the hands of the dedicated staff.
The Rhino Orphanage was established in 2012 by Arrie van Deventer, and is South Africa's first dedicated baby rhino orphanage. Van Deventer also runs the Wildlife & Cultural Centre that reserves endangered African species, including the white lion and sable antelope.
Van Deventer is passionate to reserve the baby rhino and his orphanage is home to a number of baby rhino. "This is a war we cannot lose. The treatment of rhinos is something I can stomach no more – especially the little ones. I have stood next to the bleeding carcass of a mother whose baby was killed next to her because the baby refused to leave her after she was hacked to death," he said.