Orphaned baby rhino needs to be snuggled to sleep after traumatic loss
An orphaned baby rhino insists on being snuggled to sleep after he was found 'crying inconsolably' next to the body of his mother who had just been mutilated by poachers.
Traumatized by witnessing his mother's slaughter, a then-three-month-old rhino named Gertjie was brought to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center in South Africa. Try as they might, he couldn't be calmed at first. He began to adjust gradually, and began going for walks, chasing ostriches and enjoying mud baths.
Still, though he settled down, Gertjie still can't sleep alone. He'll only rest when a staff member is nearby to comfort him. Workers are now taking turns cuddling the little guy, petting his nose and letting him snuggle up and lay his head in their laps -- which is apparently the only way he'll go to sleep.
Gertjie is also going through more than three gallons of milk a day, and a South African grocery store is raising money to help with the cost of his care.
If you'd like to help pay for Gertjie's (massive) meals, a 'Pick n Pay' fund has been set up. You can also donate to the center that Gertjie calls home.