Baby rhino cuddles carer in heartmelting video

You'll instantly fall in love with this adorable snuggler

Updated: 
Orphaned Rhino Calf Cuddles With Veterinary Nurse


A video of a baby rhino cuddling up to its carer at a sanctuary in South Africa has got the internet's collective heart melting.

The little baby, called Kabelo, used a worker at The Rhino Orphanage sanctuary in Limpopo Province as his "pillow".


See also: Baby rhino rescued after being abandoned by its mother

See also: Ranger comforts orphaned baby rhino with bedtime stories



Veterinary nurse Laura Ellison shared the aww-inducing video on her Instagram page, and also explained a bit about the pair's special bond.

Really, I'm just his pillow. While I want you all to experience the gentleness of rhinos, to fall in love with them as I have and inspire the same desperation I have to save them, I must stress the relationship I have with our rhinos that allow these experiences. I have been with Kabelo since his arrival to the orphanage and we have developed such a strong bond. While Kabelo is so comfortable with me, he is not with many others. Please appreciate that he is still a wild animal.. But also with the capacity to love so forgivingly. Humans took his mother and for him to trust me the way he does is incredibly bittersweet. Rhinos deserve a life with their mothers without human interference. Please help me fight to secure it. #saveourrhinos To use this video in a commercial player or in broadcasts, please email licensing@storyful.com

A video posted by Laura Ellison (@lauraellison) on


She wrote: "Really I'm just his pillow.

"While I want you all to experience the gentleness of rhinos, to fall in love with them as I have and inspire the same desperation I have to save them, I must stress the relationship I have with our rhinos that allow these experiences.

"I have been with Kabelo since his arrival to the orphanage and we have developed such a strong bond. While Kabelo is so comfortable with me, he is not with many others. Please appreciate that he is still a wild animal... But also with the capacity to love so forgivingly.

"Humans took his mother and for him to trust me the way he does is incredibly bittersweet. Rhinos deserve a life with their mothers without human interference. Please help me fight to secure it. #saveourrhinos."

The Rhino Orphanage was founded by Arrie van Deventer in 2012. According to its website, the orphanage is the first specialist, dedicated, non-commercial centre that cares for orphaned and injured baby rhinos with the only aim of releasing them back into the wild.

It was created as the result of a lack of a specialised place for rearing baby rhinos who have been orphaned as a consequence of the current poaching crisis which feeds the illegal trade in horns.

You can help the baby rhinos by adopting one or making a one-time donation here.

Pictures of baby rhinos

Pictures of baby rhinos