River arrived at Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary in August 2014, orphaned when poachers killed her mother. She was only a month old, very small and alone in the bush. Hyenas and lions attacked and wounded her on her rump. The wounds from the claw marks were infected and the Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary team cleaned and treated them. After the wounds had healed, a scar can still be seen on her rump.
The attack also traumatised her psychologically as she was terrified of shadows after she arrived at the sanctuary. For a long time, anyone working with her had to do so carefully, as not to startle her with their movements and the movements of their shadow. Although it took River a long time to settle after her trauma, she accepted her milk from a bottle very quickly.
Once River started doing better, she became cheeky and started pulling the teats off her milk bottles at every feed! Her caretakers had to pay extra attention while feeding her. Later, as she grew stronger, she was introduced to the other rhinos, from whom she took no nonsense, like a real rhino does.
River has come a long way in her rehabilitation process and has now been released with the other rhinos with whom she has formed strong bonds. She still remains tightly bonded with her friends, Tyson and Annie. During the day, she explores and wanders through the vast protected reserve where she can wallow and drink water from a river and other small streams.