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Orphaned Baby Rhino Can't Sleep Alone After Watching His Mother Get Killed by Poachers

Rhino Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre/Facebook

This is 4-month-old Gertjie, an orphaned baby rhino who was brought to South Africa's HESC (Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre), where he is being rehabilitated. "Little G," as the staff calls him, loves taking mud baths and goes on two long walks a day.

Gertjie ended up at the sanctuary after his mom was killed by poachers.

Gertjie, Orphaned Rhino Pick n Pay

In May, poachers "brutally mutilated" a rhino, Gertjie's mother, in a private reserve. By the time rangers arrived, the poachers had managed to escape and the rhino died. Gertjie was found next to her dead body, refusing to leave his mother. 

"It was a devastating sight, as the tiny animal would not leave her side, and was crying inconsolably for her," HESC said in a blog post.

Gertjie, Orphaned Rhino Pick n Pay

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After being rescued, Gertjie spent the night in the company of caretakers and a sheep named Skapp, who acts as a surrogate to many animals at the Centre, in order to get him adjusted to life without his mom.

But after what he experienced, Gertjie now refuses to sleep alone.

Gertjie, Orphaned Rhino Pick n Pay

So staff is always with him at bedtime, and he sleeps snuggled up in one of their laps.

Gertjie, Orphaned Rhino Pick n Pay

Watch Gertjie's tragic story below:

If you'd like to help Gertjie, you can donate to the HESC. Gertjie must drink fat-free milk until he's over a year old, so any funds will help provide that milk until Little G can be weaned off it.

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