The Rhinoceros species has become increasingly endangered over recent decades. Most of the world’s rhinos are native to South Africa and they are among the most critically endangered or threatened animals on the planet. Sadly, the loss of the rhino is being caused by violent poaching. In 2007, thirteen rhinos were reported poached in South Africa, compared to an alarming 1,175 rhinos in South Africa in 2015.
Largely, rhinos are being killed for their horns, which are believed to possess potent medicinal and aphrodisiac properties in Traditional Chinese Medicine. However, these beliefs have no scientific backing. In fact, rhinoceros horns are primarily made of keratin, the same substance that makes up our own fingernails.
Thankfully, there are dedicated animal lovers around the world who are doing all they can to combat the atrocious poaching of rhinos. Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation is one of these wonderful organizations. Although a relatively new charity founded in 2015, they are making a great impact on conservation efforts by supporting the Rhino Orphanage. This sanctuary helps rescue and rehabilitate animals who are the targets and orphans of poaching. Some of the most adorable residents on the sanctuary are the baby rhinos, who just cannot get enough love from their doting caretakers.
This rescued baby rhino at the Rhino Orphanage shares a friendly moment with his best friend and caretaker, Steffi. Steffi is the orphaned rhino’s surrogate mother and constant companion.
Baby rhinos are like all other babies, requiring constant care and attention. They are highly emotional and impressionable and will imprint on their caretakers.
The love between these two is undeniable in this precious moment.
This little rhino has a long way to go before he is a healthy independent adult, but we can only hope he will successfully return to the wild one day.
All Image Source: Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation/Facebook