It was in the early hours of the morning when a 38 year old white rhino cow, was poached on a private reserve. She left behind a scared and innocent five month old calf who fled from the
poachers and into the bush.
The young female calf was suddenly orphaned and left to fend for herself at only five months old. After five days without a sighting of her, hopes that she would be recovered in time began to fade.
Thanks to the commitment and efforts of multiple organisations and individuals, a desperate and final attempt to locate and rescue the baby was carried out. Miraculously the young calf was spotted, and an intense rescue mission began to unfold. She was darted and quickly loaded to begin her journey to Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary.
Dr Ferreira du Plessis, the veterinarian involved in the rescue of the calf, drove with her until the late hours of Thursday night on the 26th of April, until she arrived safely at her new home. The Care for Wild team were ready and awaiting the new arrival, expecting her condition to be extremely poor after the five days she spent alone, without the milk she depended on from her mother.
She arrived safely into the arms of her caretakers and put onto a drip to help hydrate her. It soon became apparent that the little one was a survivor, who had been eating grass and drinking from a
nearby water source, which helped her stay alive long enough to be rescued. Within a few hours she was drinking milk from a bottle and the first goal had been accomplished!
It wasn’t long before she was moved to her own boma, where she learned to put her trust into those caring for her. She was even brave enough to follow her caretakers onto the scale, where she
weighed in at over 200kg – a big, healthy baby!
She has now settled and enjoys her time out in the sunshine, before being tucked into her nightpen at night to stay warm. She has even had her first mudbath!
After spending some time to find the perfect name for her, we have chosen the name Lilli. She has been named after the flower, a symbol of innocence and beauty. Lilli is a strong and brave soul who
endured such trauma yet made it through almost a whole week on her own and is now on her way to recovery. Now that she is settled and has begun her rehabilitation journey she is ready and waiting to be sponsored.