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Thread: The abandoned baby rhino afraid to leave his keeper's side

  1. #1
    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Dec 2006

    Default The abandoned baby rhino afraid to leave his keeper's side

    Cute Maalim the rescued black rhinoceros calf trots after his keeper all day, scared to let him out of his sight.
    Not yet one-month-old and still too weak to even climb a simple low wall, Maalim is under 24-hour care and supervision.
    He was named after the warden who found him abandoned in Kenya's famous Tsavo National Park in December.

    Under 24-hour care: A warden feeds Maalim the three-week-old rescued rhino

    Maalim was brought to the country's premiere animal orphanage at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, just outside Nairobi.
    Found frightened and alone, at first he was confused for an infant warthog because he was so small.
    However, the staff at Tsavo quickly realised that the eight-inch high infant was in dire need of help.
    Putting a call into the Sheldrick Trust, they immediately mobilised a plane to collect the rhino calf and give him the life saving milk formula that the trust produces.
    Maalim was assigned a specialist keeper who has been with the rhino calf day and night, even sleeping with him in the specially designed enclosure.

    When Maalim was first found, he was confused for an infant warthog because he was so small

    "He is really just incredibly sweet," said one observer to Maalim's recent progress.
    "He walks very gingerly and lightly and is clearly building his strength day by day." So small and frail was Maalim that staff at the Sheldrick trust commented that he was the smallest rhino they had ever seen.
    This led them to conclude that he was born prematurely.
    Trust patron Dame Daphne Sheldrick and her grandchildren are also big fans of Maalim.
    The centre specialises in elephant orphans, but a rhino in this much need could not be turned away.

    Maalim is fed by Sheldrick Wildlife Trust patron Dame Daphne Sheldrick's eight-year-old grandson Roan

    He now weighs almost double what he did when he was first brought into the park and in now almost two feet tall.
    In a few years this vulnerable young rhino will be one of the kings of the African bush at around 11 feet long, 5 foot tall and weighing close to 3,00lbs.
    "Ironically, Maalim must never come into contact with the elephants here at the Sheldrick Trust," said his keeper.
    "Elephants in the wild are not too keen on rhinos and Maalim was to get it into his head that elephants were his friends then an very dangerous situation for both animals could arise." The eventual plan for staff at the Sheldrick Trust is for him to be rehabilitated into the wild in The Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary, which is an area within the Tsavo park that has electric fences to keep rhinos in.

    Pictured: The abandoned baby rhino afraid to leave his keeper's side | Mail Online

  2. #2
    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Sleepy night night land


    Oh, god!! What happened to the poor momma? I hope this little one will be okay. He's a real cutie.

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