New Rhino Orphan Rescued

Monday 10 July 2023

Tragically, another rhino orphan has been rescued by our project at Zululand Rhino Orphanage, sadly, this time a victim of rhino poaching.

Following an alert from a reserve in South Africa of a calf seen lying next to its mother’s lifeless body, the team sprang into action. With the reserve being a five-hour drive away, and a vet and helicopter called in to assist with the rescue, two of our carers immediately loaded supplies into the ICU trailer and departed for the long drive ahead.


Despite everyone’s best efforts the calf could not be located before nightfall, so our team spent the night locally in order to be nest placed to resume the search at first light. Fortunately, the orphan was located early the next morning and successfully darted. 

Once under sedation the team could take a proper look at this tiny rhino, a young female calf, and were dismayed to find she had suffered badly at the hands of the poachers with critical open wounds to her neck and ear.

Rhino calves stay close to their mothers, even trying to defend them through an attack by poachers, which means they often sustain wounds as the poachers try to drive them away. This loyal, young rhino calf shows the visible marks of a desperate and tragic attempt to protect her mother – sadly to no avail with her mother succumbing to the attack and her your daughter terribly injured.  

Thankfully, the team managed to stabilise the calf and began the long journey back to the orphanage.   


The First 5 Days at the Orphanage

The newest rhino orphan to be rescued, a tragic victim of a terrifying poaching attack, has now arrived back at our project at Zululand Rhino Orphanage in South Africa.

 In what has been one of our most distressing rescues to date, this tiny, vulnerable rhino was weighed on arrival and came in at just 125kg. Sadly, it was evident that she is under condition, which is little surprise given the trauma she endured losing her mother to poachers and being severely injured in the attack.

The team have been keeping her under close observation in the rhino orphan ICU and have administered antibiotics and pain medication to help her through these uncertain times. Her vet is visiting regularly to treat her wounds and the good news is that she is drinking milk from the bottle and sleeping well. She remains under the constant, watchful eyes of her dedicated carers. 

It’s been a traumatic few days for this young calf since her arrival and the team are on high alert for any changes in her condition. Her wounds are still a cause for concern, especially with her blindfold recently removed and the discovery of an ulcerated eye, and these early days are always difficult, but the team are watching her closely and giving her the care she so critically needs. We will update you with more news on her progress soon.


With rhinos still under attack and an orphanage of young rhino calves desperately needing ongoing care and treatment, this latest rhino orphan’s rescue means vet bills and care costs are mounting. Given the horrific injuries she sustained trying to protect her mother from the poachers, the need for expert veterinary care is costly, but absolutely necessary, as she recovers from her terrible ordeal.

Please donate towards the costs of this rhino orphan’s urgent veterinary care. Every donation really does make a difference to the team on the ground.

The rhinos are ever so grateful for your support.


Watch our little orphan's first 5 days at the orphanage.