If you love knitting and you love animals … then this story is for you! Game Rangers International (GRI) is a non-profit organization located in Zambia that does incredible work empowering rangers and educating the community on conservation, in addition to rescuing wildlife. In fact, GRI is currently home to 17 orphaned rhinos and elephants who lost their mothers due to poaching or human-animal conflict.
As you can imagine, these sweet babies are in dire need of comfort … and that’s where Blankets for Baby Rhinos comes in! Founded by Sue Brown and Elisa Best, The Blankets for Baby Rhinos Facebook group currently has about 1,400 knitters and crocheters from all around the world who make blankets for orphaned wildlife animals, including elephants, rhinos, orangutans, giraffes, and chimpanzees, just to name a few.
The group recently sent GRI a package of blankets for the babies and they are beautiful!
With the rainy season beginning in Zambia, Mkaliva, one of the orphaned babies, is feeling quite cozy in her blanket!
GRI is very appreciative of the knitter’s hard work! Amazingly, one of the blankets was made by a 101-year-old woman.
GRI keepers, who look after the orphaned babies 24/7, also enjoy the handmade blankets when they are able to step away for a nap!
Many of the knitters have never knitted before but learned how just so they could help! The group also crochets and knits toys that act as surrogate mothers to orphaned babies.
African elephants face a number of dangers, including poaching, habitat loss, and trophy hunting. These dangers are so real that in just in the past ten years, elephant populations have dropped by an alarming 62 percent, and conservationists predict they could go extinct by the end of the decade if nothing is done to protect them. This is heartbreaking to know considering the fact elephants are very empathetic and intelligent creatures. Studies have shown that elephants will comfort one another when they are distressed by offering caresses and chirps of sympathy to let their friend know everything will be okay.
Blankets for Baby Rhinos is a truly inspiring group of compassionate people. If you are interested in learning more about Blankets for Baby Rhinos, check out their Facebook group. If you are interested in learning more about GRI’s conservation work, visit their website.
Image Source: GRI – Elephant Orphanage Project/Facebook