Orphaned baby rhino won't sleep without keepers after mum's death (video)

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Orphaned baby rhino cuddles keepers in South Africa (video)
Orphaned baby rhino cuddles keepers in South Africa (video)

An orphaned baby rhino can be seen cuddling his keepers in new footage as he recovers after the trauma of losing his mum.

Four-month-old Gertjie snuggles with staff from the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre in South Africa, where he will only sleep if someone is with him.

He was rescued on 7 May after being found "crying inconsolably" next to his dead mother after she had been brutally murdered by poachers.

His first night at the centre was spent with a human minder and a tame sheep called Skaap, who acts as a "surrogate mother".

According to the Daily Mail, staff take it in turns to feed him every three hours, and sleep with him in his enclosure.

They say he goes on two long walks a day, and "absolutely loves" mud baths.

But the facility is now appealing for donations for his milk, as he goes through gallons a day (visit hesc.co.za).

Back in May, it was reported that The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has launched a project to help protect wildlife - in particular the endangered rhino - by using drones.

The Metro reports that drones are being used across Africa to help protect some of the world's most endangered animals, particularly rhinos and elephants.

"Rhinos are on the absolute precipice," says Steve Roest, head of the ShadowView Foundation, an organisation that provides unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, for conservation and humanitarian relief operations.

They cover large areas of land that rangers cannot manage on foot. They monitor poaching and also record the animals' movements and document evidence.

The illegal wildlife trade is the fifth largest illicit trade in the world, estimated at £12bn a year, according to the WWF.

Last year, 1,004 rhinos were killed by poachers.

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