Update on the orphaned baby rhinos at HESC

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Orphaned rhinos at hesc

Gertjie and Matimba

Gertjie and Matimba have been at HESC longer than the other baby rhinos, and are now considered the ‘older brothers’. The two are inseparable and enjoy walking, grazing and napping together. They now happily share their boma with their younger siblings, Stompie and Balu.

Gertjie has been off formula since September 2015. Matimba was recently weaned, and had his last milk bottle on 30 April. Both rhinos absolutely LOVE their teff – just give them that and they head straight to ‘seventh heaven’!

Stompie and Balu

Stompie is now over a year old, and Balu is about seven months old. Stompie currently takes two bottles a day, while Balu is on three. Both rhinos get seven litres of milk per feed. Just like their ‘older brothers’, they are inseparable and spend every moment in one another’s company – walking, grazing, napping, and enjoying the occasional scratch against a tree. They look up to both Gertjie and Matimba.

As we’ve recently had to accommodate more orphaned rhinos, Stompie and Balu have now been moved into Gertjie and Matimba’s boma, and the four boys are happily sharing their space.

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Nhlanhla (also known as Baby N)

Nhlanhla arrived on 13 April 2016, she was about one week old at the time and weighed 40 kilograms. Now, aged eight weeks, he’s gained 34 kilograms, therefore weighing a healthy 74 kilograms. ‘Baby N’, as he’s fondly called, is very strong and affectionate. He likes going on his own ‘mission’, and belly rubs are his favourite treat. He also likes taking naps in the sun with his siblings, and as he is very playful, he loves running around the boma.

Olivia

Olivia arrived on 24 April 2016, and was approximately four months old and weighed 143 kilogram. Now, at just over five months old, she’s gained 62 kilograms, and currently weighs 205 kilograms. She has crept into the hearts of everyone at HESC. She has an extremely gentle nature but can also be stubborn at times. For example, when she’s called at feeding times, she likes to take her time. However, she is also very attentive, and listens when talked to.

Olivia loves a good belly rub, is very affectionate and adores attention. She’s even shown signs of jealousy when the other rhinos also want some love. While she is occasionally playful, she is happier spending time enjoying her food and teff (grass). She sometimes even falls asleep while chewing! Olivia may seem lady-like in her ways, but is a very loud snorer…

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Muddy

Muddy arrived on 4 May 2016 when he was approximately two weeks old and weighed 50 kilogram. He’s now about six weeks old and has since gained 10 kilograms, weighing in at 60 kilograms. He not only has a large appetite for life, but for food too! If he could, he would probably drink milk all day long.

Like any baby, Muddy is playful and playtime with his ‘brother’ Nhlanhla is his favourite pastime. It’s beautiful to see how he follows Nhlanhla everywhere. Their days are filled with lots of exercise as they run and chase each other around the boma. We’ve observed that Muddy prefers a head rub to a belly rub, and is generally not as affectionate as the other babies.

Khulula

This little girl arrived on 21 May 2016, she was approximately five months old and weighed 133 kilograms. She’s since gained 11 kilograms and now weighs 144 kilograms. It took Khulula a while to become accustomed to her curators, and she was skittish and aggressive at first (which is completely understandable after her ordeal). She’s now much more relaxed and comfortable in her new environment.

Khulula was recently introduced to the other three orphans – Olivia, Nhlanhla and Muddy – and we’re pleased to say that the four have a great family bond. In fact, they’ve become pretty much inseparable!

Khulula has a gentle but vigilant nature, and is always cautious in every moment. She enjoys eating grass so much that she actually drools WHILE eating. She loves taking naps in the warm sun, as well as getting belly rubs. She is a good learner and obediently follows the others, with her tail curled up, during feeding times.

All four orphans are doing well, and are happy and growing. They drink, eat and sleep together, although Muddy and Nhlanhla sometimes wander off on their own. The girls, Olivia and Khulula, also sometimes move away from the boys for a little ‘girl time’, but they always end up meeting up for their nap times. They also get a fair amount of exercise by chasing each other around. All four will now be getting six bottles a day each, at three hour intervals between 05:00 and 20:00.

Olivia drinks 4l/4.1l litres of milk per feeding at 12% body weight. Muddy drinks 1,5 litres of milk per feeding at 15% body weight. Nhlanhla drinks 1,9 litres of milk per feeding at 15% body weight. Khulula drinks 2,4 litres of milk per feeding at 10% body weight.

It is extremely satisfying to see all of our orphaned baby rhinos happy, healthy and thriving. Although their care is a huge expense, through the help of our generous community and friends who’ve helped us raise funds, we’ve managed to take care of the day-to-day needs of all the rhinos in our care.

If you can and would like to make a donation towards the Rescued Rhinos @ HESC sanctuary, visit our online portal. Alternatively go to PayPal, click on ‘send’, add the WCT email address accounts@wildlifeconservationtrust.co.za, choose the amount you’d like to contribute and click ‘continue’.

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Comments

  1. This article was anticipated and so wonderful to read. I cannot tell you how much it means to hear about the babies. I am so happy they are doing well. Thanks HESC. I love you guys.

  2. Thank you so much for the heartfelt update. Am so sad this is happening but am so glad you are there to help these innocent babies.

  3. The four little orphans are very cute. Very funny to see them when they play in the boma and they sleep together in their hut !
    But where are they since yesterday ? Are they gone to an other animals park ?

    1. Hi Bernie,

      They were probably just outside. The camera is only installed inside the boma and can’t follow them when they are outside.

      Thank you.

      HESC Team

  4. Very funny to see and to hear the four little rhinos running after each other or together in a dusty stampede !

  5. What the mess in the rhino room !
    Please call the housekeeper for make the four little rhinos confortable in their hut 😉

  6. The rhinos we see on camera are the 4 older orphans? Where do the 4 newest orphans stay? It is so enjoyable to watch the rhinos…..thank you for your work and devotion to these animals.

    1. Hi Rebecca,

      Thank you for watching, but the four rhinos on camera are the youngest. The older ones do not have a camera installed in their boma.

  7. Poor little rhinos sleeping on concret with not litter for their comfort…
    Please gentle housekeeper, make them a cozy bed 😉
    Have a nice night all.

  8. Poor little rhino. He looks very seek. He didn’t takes his milk yesterday and stays often his his legs while the others sleeping.
    I hope it’s not a bad disease and the vet and the gentle curators find the good medications.

  9. Thank you for all these cute photoes from the many creatures in the farm – so good to learn of the good people you are! Love from Denmark

  10. Thanks to the good doktor and the nice curator take care of Little N this afternoon.
    We hope the poor baby rhino will be healed very soon :-)

  11. I’am worry a lot about Little N.
    He’is still very sick since 10 days ! He’s breathing very fast, often stays alone and could’nt sleeps staying stand up.
    I could’nt watch him suffers like this.
    Staff, give us good news please !

  12. A heartbreaking scene this morning between 7h00 and 7h30.
    Little N is laying on the hut corner, still very sick and breathing badly.
    Muddy stands close to him put his head on his “brother”. After put his muzzle on Little N muzzle like kisses, Muddy winning then he lies on his side staying together along time.
    This animals have compassion.

    1. Hi Sue,

      There is something you can definitely do apart from donating cash. If you are in South Africa, you could get a Pick ‘n Pay smart shopper card or a Woolworths My School/ My Planet card. Through these two options you can be able to give more to HESC without spending a cent. Visit this page for more information http://hesc.co.za/support/.

  13. I’m very sad to learn the death of the poor Muddy.
    He’s was suffered so much and too long…
    I’m sure he’s in the paradise now…
    I hope Olivia, Khulula and Little N still going well and we’re waiting for watching them again on rhino cam.
    RIP little Muddy.

  14. I heard from outside the hut, while the cam was watching the three rhinos left, small tears from new orphaned !
    Then, our sad Little N was gone… and Olivia and Khulula stay together all night.

    1. Hi Linda,

      We currently have seven young rhino ​orphans – Gertije, Matimba, ​Stompie, Balu, Khulula, Olivia and Nhlanhla; and three survivors, Lion’s Den, Dingle Dell and Philippa.

  15. Thanks for the answer……would you know when and if the rhino cam will be operating inside of the rhino hut?

    1. Hi Linda,

      Due to the drought that we are currently experiencing (we are in the middle of winter and therefore don’t get much rain, if at all) the babies spend a lot of time outside the boma area in search of grass. The boma area doesn’t have any more grass, so we move them around in the centre to areas where there is some grass.

  16. such sad news – but thankfully all the others are thriving thanks to your love and care. God bless you all for your good work.

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