On the 8th November 2017, Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary received another black rhino calf. Badger, as he is now named, was part of a relocation project in the Kruger National Park but was unfortunately separated from his mother during the process. The SANParks personnel struggled to locate both mother and calf for two days but finally managed to reunite the two. Soon after SANParks personnel reunited the mother and calf, the two rhinos were chased by a cackle of hyenas and separated once again. The hyenas chose to follow the calf and the decision was made to rescue the year old calf from the jaws of hyenas. With the help of Section Ranger Don English and veterinarian, Dr Peter Buss, the black rhino calf was brought to the Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary via helicopter.
When Badger arrived at Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary, he was very dehydrated and needed to be placed on a drip. An enema was also given. The team also noticed that Badger has some very unique skin colouration; he has pink patches on his back legs and feet. He was moved into a crate where he was very closely monitored by Petronel Nieuwoudt and the Care for Wild team. The following night, Badger suckled his first small bottle of milk. By sunrise the next morning, he had guzzled down 12 litres of milk! Well rehydrated! He continued to do well for the next two days, after which he was moved out of the crate and into the main bomas’ nightpen. That night, he started eating freshly cut branches and was well on his way in his rehabilitation process. Badger spent a few weeks getting to know Phoebe, a female black rhino calf, through a fence in the bomas. Badger and Phoebe were introduced to each other on the 22 November 2017 and have since grown very close to one another. Badger, being 6 months younger than Phoebe, depends on her for comfort. Phoebe has taken this role enthusiastically and looks after little Badger with love and care. We are so happy to see this special bond between these two critically endangered black rhinos.