A rhino calf was rescued by the Aquilla Private Reserve near Cape Town, South Africa after losing his mom and almost being attacked by his father.
As BuzzFeed reported, the Aquilla Private Game Reserveshared the story of the rhino calf on their Facebook page. The rhino calf was taken into the reserve’s sanctuary where he was fostered by the rangers.
But one particular ranger formed a class bond with the rescued calf. Ranger Divan Grabler, who has taken on the role of carer and has nicknamed the rhino Orion, posted on Facebook about how he met Orion.
“Great news for for the year to begin and also sad in a way,” he wrote on his post. “Last night early morning I got call to go out to see rhino on its own. Got there and mom has rejected new born baby rhino spent whole night with him to see if mom will come back. She didn’t. Went out early to go try reintroduced him to her she rejected again. I am now on full 2 hour 18 month project to take care of this little guy. My new years is going into spending time with him blessed . Orions belt was right above him when we found him this morning.”
Gabler has treated the rhino calf like he was his own child by feeding him and even reading to him.
He said, “I read to him to let him know that he’s in a safe environment. I think it’s emotionally comforting to him to know that someone is there. In the wild, his mom would give him love and attention. You need to give them that love.”
The rhino’s story has become so popular that thereserve even gave in to public clamor to name the orphan rhino. The crowdsourcing became an opportunity to raise funds for the upkeep of the animals in the reserve, including the rhino himself.
An 8-year old, who also bonded with rhino when he visited him, also started a Facebook page called Raise The Baby Rhino With Hunter to help raise money for rhino’s care costs. Hunter has raised R10000 in 17 days and has donated the money to the reserve, but he is using social media to raise more.
In another Facebook post, the reserve said the rhino will be hand reared for approximately 18 months before he will be released to the wild. This means more bonding time between him and Grobler.