Baby Rhino arrives at HESC after mother poached

Amazing how small he is

We took custody of a very special animal last night. A 3 month old baby rhino, anticipated to have been born around the 19th February, was brought to the HESC after being found next to his dead mother who had been tragically and brutally poached for her horn.

It was a devastating sight, as the tiny animal would not leave her side, and was crying inconsolably for her.

The baby is loaded onto our vehicle

There is no time to waste

Dr. Peter Rogers from Provet assisted in darting him, and he was transported the short distance to The Centre with great care.

Thankfully now sedated

The baby arrives at The HESC

The team works to stabilise the young rhino

Despite his distress, he had a good night – spent in close contact with Curator Christo Schreiber, and surrogate mother “Skaap”. He is in a calmer state this morning.

The hunt now begins for fat-free milk to sustain him. Any support or assistance would be greatly appreciated. Please click here to access our online donation portal. Every cent helps.

Vet Peter Rogers in attendance, as well as “Skaap” the surrogate mother

So senseless!

The HESC has seen a number of injured and orphaned animals successfully rehabilitated over the years, and we are hopeful that this will be another happy ending.

We will keep you updated as to the baby’s progress.

The poor little thing

The young rhino is stabilised

You’re in safe hands now

Curator, Christo, and Skaap prepare for the long journey of care ahead

He wakes up

Filed under: Anti-Poaching, Conservation, From the Hospital, News, Rhinos

28 Responses

  1. Ockert Jooste Says:

    Brilliant work

    Posted on May 8th, 2014 at 4:49 pm

  2. HESC Says:

    Thank you Ockert.

    Posted on May 8th, 2014 at 4:50 pm

  3. Charlie Paxton Says:


    Great job well done, wishing you and the little rhino all the best!


    Posted on May 8th, 2014 at 5:19 pm

  4. Miemie Says:

    Lord Jesus, please protect this little baby and bless his guardians. Amen.

    Posted on May 8th, 2014 at 5:55 pm

  5. Matt Ferguson Says:

    Which reserve was the rhino found on? Or is that private information?

    Posted on May 8th, 2014 at 6:58 pm

  6. Anke Says:

    HESC team you are simply awesome ! Your dedication to conservation and gong the extra mile is admirable !

    Posted on May 9th, 2014 at 10:23 am

  7. HESC Says:

    Thank you all for your feedback and encouragement on the work that we do.

    Posted on May 9th, 2014 at 11:22 am

  8. HESC Says:


    We unfortunately have also not been informed of the reserve the calf came from. This information has been kept private in an effort to protect the animals on the reserve.

    Posted on May 9th, 2014 at 11:23 am

  9. Debbie Says:

    Bless this precious little soul and bless all of you for all you do. This little rhino is special…..

    Posted on June 5th, 2014 at 6:33 pm

  10. Patricia Says:

    I was just recently my first time in SA on holiday and the nature/wildlife just overwhelmed me. Thus, it fills my heart with so much sadness to read about this. It also makes me so angry that such a beautiful, innocent animal was slaughtered for such ridiculous reasons. I read that you are looking for donations for milk, etc. How can I directly donate for this litlle one?

    Posted on June 10th, 2014 at 1:23 pm

  11. Tiffany Says:

    This breaks my heart and makes me sick to think about this poor little baby losing his mother by such a horrific and unspeakable act. Thank you so much for the work that you’re doing here. You guys are angels.

    Posted on June 11th, 2014 at 11:11 am

  12. FLORANDER Says:


    I would like to help you, je souhaiterai vous aider – comment faire ?

    Je sensibilise mon fils de 7 ans à la cause animale .

    Triste et belle histoire pour ce bébé rhino, je vous soutiens.

    C’est touchant et majestueux de votre part.

    BRAVO !!!

    Posted on June 11th, 2014 at 4:34 pm

  13. Ze Carrapichano Says:

    Good luck with baby rhino Gertjie. I shall let all my friends know about this in the hope that some may help you too. What is the best source for his milk?

    May Gertjie sleep well and not have horrible nightmares. May those who killed his mother one day very soon see how horrible all this is, change and start protecting these wonderful gentle creatures…

    Let us all pass the word around.

    Posted on June 11th, 2014 at 8:50 pm

  14. Peter Says:

    I live in New Jersey, and I just read the story about this poor little baby yesterday. It’s so hard to believe that we still live in a world where there is such senseless violence against such innocent animals. This story really touched me ….. I couldn’t help but to feel so bad for these animals. They are so fortunate to have people like yourselves to care and nurture them. I honestly wish I didn’t live a half a world away from HESC. I would love to volunteer my time in helping these innocent animals and showing them that not all people are as evil as the one’s that they have encountered.
    Keep up the good work !!!!

    Posted on June 11th, 2014 at 9:50 pm

  15. annabelle Says:

    HESC is truly amazing you guys are my heros i hope to get involved someday!!!

    Posted on June 11th, 2014 at 11:07 pm

  16. Michelle Says:

    Heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time! Poachers are a disgrace to our species and hopefully one day there will be a way to stop them! :( can not even begin to imagine, nor do I want to, the fear and sadness that these animals must feel…especially after watching their parent get brutally murdered. Rar frustrating! It is very difficult for me to understand how anyone could be so cruel for such a pointless reason. Money was the worst thing to ever be invented, at least for all the different animal species that are constantly near or at extinction all because someone wants a piece of their body simply for novelty purposes. Sorry for my rambling, obviously anyone on this page is well aware of all this. I just wanted to say that you guys are awesome for helping to protect these animals!

    Posted on June 12th, 2014 at 3:23 am

  17. Jesus Says:

    I am totally devastated after reading this…Any update on the baby? Is he alright?

    Thank you so much for the hard work you do, guys.

    God bless you

    Posted on June 12th, 2014 at 9:14 am

  18. Lori Says:

    I am so moved by this story and grateful that you are there to help this poor little fella.
    He deserves so much more from humans than what those disgusting poachers did to him and his mother.

    I will continue to follow his progress and I can only wish him and all of you who take care of him the best blessings in life.

    Thank you so much!

    Posted on June 14th, 2014 at 3:24 am

  19. Erica Says:

    I want to sincerely thank the team for saving, rescusing, supporting, and helping little G rehabilitate from such a senseless act of tragic proportions. You guys are doing work that I cannot do due to location and lack of knowledge. But what I do know is that the tears that I cried and the broken pieces are my heart were real and I will be think about this precious animal for a very long time. I hope that he doesn’t have severe post traumatic stress disorder or if he does I hope it isn’t for long. I’m an American and would like to donate for the baby’s fat free milk. Where can I do so? I will keep saying prayers for you all. Much love.

    Posted on June 14th, 2014 at 7:43 am

  20. Christian Martin Says:

    God bless you guys!!

    Posted on June 17th, 2014 at 12:04 am

  21. HESC Says:

    Hello Ze,

    Gertjie’s formula, whipped up by our curators before each feeding, consists of a combination of fat-free milk, glucose, probiotics, multivitamins and Pronutro!

    Posted on June 19th, 2014 at 3:34 pm

  22. HESC Says:

    Hi all,

    Thank you to everyone for the words of encouragement and your interest in Gertjie. We are pleased to inform you that he is doing quite well. Please visit our Facebook page ( for regular updates. You can also follow Gertjie on Africam (

    To all our friends who’d like to make a donation, please email our manager, Gretha at


    Posted on June 19th, 2014 at 3:56 pm

  23. HESC Says:

    Dear Florander,

    Merci pour votre soutien. S’il vous plaît communiquer avec notre directeur, Gretha à elle donnera des conseils sur comment vous pouvez être en mesure d’aider.

    Posted on June 19th, 2014 at 4:17 pm

  24. Ze Carrapichano Says:

    Thanks for the information. Must have been hard to find the right ‘formula’ for baby rhinos.

    I hope that he is doing well on it.

    Keep up the good work. Look after our adopted baby!!!

    Posted on June 21st, 2014 at 1:23 am

  25. San San Says:

    Amazing excellent people with warm hearts are existing.
    Appreciations to help them. We need to find the way how to stop buyers and poachers.
    The whole world must be united.

    Posted on October 22nd, 2014 at 9:26 am

  26. HESC Says:

    Thank you San San. Indeed, we all need to do whatever we can to protect our wild life.

    Posted on November 3rd, 2014 at 12:02 pm

  27. GRACIELA Says:

    amo a Little g desde que conoci su historia lo he seguido dia a dia los felicito de corazón por todo el trabajo de argentina y gertjie junto a lammy son mis grandes gustaría saber de ellos.loable labor la que realizan

    Posted on November 10th, 2014 at 12:48 am

  28. HESC Says:


    Posted on November 12th, 2014 at 2:00 pm

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