Baby Rhinoceros Rescued Via Helicopter After Poachers Killed Its Mother

by Megan Molseed
(Photo credit should read SILAS STEIN/DPA/AFP via Getty Images)

A non-profit organization has stepped in to rescue an orphaned baby rhinoceros. This baby rhino was left alone after poachers kill the young calf’s mother.

It’s a sad element to an already sad situation happening in the wild. This comes as baby calves are left to perish all alone when the parents are poached for their horns. However, this recently rescued baby rhino has a chance for recovery. Ultimately leading to its return to the wild the rescuers note.

The Baby Rhinoceros Was Rescued By Animal Experts Via Helicopter After Mom Meets Tragic Fate

According to the experts at the nonprofit organization known as the African Wildlife Vets, a ranger and a veterinarian exploring South Africa’s Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park spotted the dehorned carcass of the calf’s mother. The officials were in the area while conducting an aerial search for buffalo in the South African park.

The seriousness of the situation soon became very clear when they noticed the baby male rhinoceros wandering nearby. The calf is believed to be about six weeks old, officials say.

“NEW RHINO ORPHAN!!!” exclaimed the caption alongside a Facebook post announcing the impressive rescue.

“A pilot, a vet and a section ranger of Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park took to the sky on Sunday morning in search of buffalo for a disease testing operation,” the message notes. “While looking for buffalo, they came across a new poached rhino carcass, and a couple of 100m away they spotted a small calf on its own.”

According to the Facebook post, the baby rhinoceros calf is estimated to weigh about 105 kg. “They responded immediately,” the Facebook post says of the wildlife experts.

“Dr. Rowan Leeming [immobilized] the small calf,” the social media message continues noting that the animal was placed in the backseat of the helicopter.

“The calf was rushed to the Zululand Rhino Orphanage,” the caption says. There, the animal was given an IV drip to help rehydrate him. The baby also received rhino plasma to help “strengthen his immune system.”

The Team At The Orphanage Is Helping The Calf Recover Before Releasing Him Into The Wild

The message alongside the Facebook post depicting images of the impressive rescue notes that the “experienced team at the orphanage will do everything they can to ensure his recovery.” This said the rhino’s well-being is the focus. Especially as the baby heals and grows old enough to be released back into the wild.

While being treated by these animal care experts, the young Rhinoceros calf is blindfolded. This helps him calmly receive the necessary care from the orphanage staff. These animals are poached for their “keratin-rich” horns and sold in markets largely for medicinal purposes. However, conservation efforts implemented in recent years include removing the rhino horns on animals in the worldwide preserves ultimately keeping poachers at bay.