Baby Rhino Finds Heartbreaking New "Mum" After She Is Shot Down By Hunters

Donnie is a baby rhinoceros whose mother was cruelly shot down by poachers at the Kruger National Park in South Africa.

Though losing a mother would break the heart of just about anybody, it's all the more traumatic for Donnie, who wasn't even two months old at the time and was both physiologically and psychologically dependent on her.

This partly explains the baby rhinoceros's heartbreaking behaviour in the days after his mother's death: Donnie was seen running after every passing car in the national park, getting as close as possible in the hope that it would stop and take him with it.


Source : @DailyMail 

The poor baby saw a potential adoptive family in each of the cars making their way down the park's muddy roads. But that's not all. Donnie took a grey car for a possible mother rhino, and began to hopelessly "cuddle" with it.

This kind of behaviour is symptomatic of the trauma felt by baby animals after the premature death of a mother figure. The young orphan will desperately search for a replacement for his mother and "imprint" on other animals or objects in order to survive.


Source : @DailyMail

Fourth-year veterinary student Debbie and her father Don were on holiday in the area when they came across the baby rhinoceros.

They were worried about his behaviour and decided to come to his aid. They managed to get him out of the park and take him to a wild animal nature reserve in Mpumalanga province, where he will be rehabilitated and properly taken care of.

Care For Wild Africa, a local animal conservation organisation working in this nature reserve, confirmed a few days later that Donnie is doing much better and thriving in his new surroundings. The organisation's spokesperson Marnelle van der Merwe announced:

He's doing very well. He drank all his milk and he's walking around. 

Little Donnie will be slowly weaned off the milk and released into the wild once more when he is strong enough to survive on his own. Though nothing could ever replace his mother, we can rest assured that the baby rhino is getting all the love and affection he needs, all thanks to the committed work of these humans.

We'll leave you with this adorable clip of the baby rhino and his new friend in the nature reserve: