Unfortunately, hundreds of rhinos are hunted for their horns every year. Due to poaching, these majestic animals are now threatened with extinction and their numbers have declined dramatically in recent years. Yet many animal welfare organizations are fighting to preserve the species and save orphaned baby rhinos left to fend for themselves by heartless poachers.
The trauma these poor little souls must endure is often incurable. Indeed, the life of an orphaned wild animal baby is impossible. And Gertjie – a four-month-old baby rhino – is no different.
When volunteers at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre in South Africa found Gertjie, he was sitting next to the body of his mother, who had been taken by poachers. He was confused, stressed and crying constantly.
“It was a distressing sight as the little animal did not leave her side and cried inconsolably for her,” the rescue team later wrote in a post.
On his first night at the center, the little one was inconsolable. However, he found comfort in Skapp, a sheep that was like an adoptive mother to him. Because of his trauma, however, Gertjie could not sleep for a minute.
The baby rhino was too scared to sleep on his own, and he didn’t look well. But the center’s volunteers decided to turn the tide. One by one, they began spending time with Gertjie, making him feel loved and comforting him. Surrounded by love and cuddles, the baby rhino gradually gained trust in his new companions and began a new, peaceful life.