Orphaned baby rhinoceros treated with mud baths and belly rubs after being cared for by Kenyan caregivers
Adorable images have shown exactly how an endangered baby black rhinoceros mastered the world, after the daily routine of a little ‘Apollo’ was documented by a rescue center in Africa.
Apollo is a critically endangered baby black rhino that came under the care of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, who came in to rescue it from the threat of poachers or larger predators in the wild.
His mother Amoy was found by park rangers in Tsavo West National Park, Kenya, who died of naturally occurring anthrax in September 2019.
Apollo is now being cared for at the Trust’s headquarters in Kaluku, close to the rescue site, and will be cared for until he is old enough to return to the wilderness in a protected area.
Rangers from the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust feed little Apollo his first bottle of the day and are now overseeing his early years
The critically endangered black rhino has become known to the park rangers and is comforted by their presence
Apollo gets mud baths every day to stay cool and keep his skin soft and supple
Still a young Apollo is still in the phase of taking several ‘cat naps’ during the day
With an ever-increasing appetite, it will only be a matter of time before Apollo grows into an adult rhino in size
Apollo lives with Keepers who meet all his needs by providing personalized mud baths and comforting horn rubs. The little animal is not lacking in love or affection and quickly learns about its wild environment during its daily bushschool wanderings.
The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has successfully hand-raised 17 orphaned rhinoceroses to date.
Rhinos are critically endangered as a result of hunting and poaching for their horn, which is used in traditional medicine for its supposed health benefits. But since rhinoceros horn is made from keratin, the same substance as in fingernails, any lost life is a sad waste and represents the loss of an individual vital to his ecosystem.
Rob Brandford, Executive Director of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, said of Apollo’s education: typical of black rhinoceros, Apollo enjoys routine familiar faces and familiar environments. Most mornings, he starts his days early and comes out of his custom stable (which keeps him warm, cozy and protected from predators at night) at 6 am to mill around close to home after enjoying are morning milk formula.
Rangers join as Apollo naps and protects the young rhino from poachers and large predators in the wild
Apollo was found next to the body of his mother who died of naturally occurring anthrax in September 2019
Apollo lives with Keepers who meet all his needs by providing personalized mud baths and comforting horn rubs
The playful little rhinoceros treads the earthly part of the sanctuary, while rangers struggle to keep up
Apollo usually throws his favorite pillow in the air above him to create a shelter before going to sleep
“Being orphaned at the tender age of just six months, our Keepers now successfully fulfill the parental role and stay awake (and asleep) at Apollo every day of the day.
“Apollo is cared for by a team of experienced rhinoceros, who work alternately to ensure that Apollo doesn’t get used to a caregiver when they go on annual leave. During his daily excursions, there are always two Keepers with him and most days they encounter a number of wild animals along the way, ranging from elephants to the small thick thickness.
“His milk feeds are brought to him all over the bush, and in between the milk feeds, his diet is supplemented with luscious amounts of greenery, which he browses a lot on his own, but tasty bits are collected by the Keepers and also shared with him.
Most of the action takes place early in the day and late in the afternoon; the times when the temperature is cooler and the energy level is high. He loves to run along the sandy river bed – keeping up with him isn’t easy – as the hippos and other wildlife take a lazy look at this unusual sight.
Most mornings he starts his days early, comes out of his tailor-made stable at six o’clock and is looking for milk food
His milk feeds are brought to him everywhere in the bush and his diet is supplemented with vegetables in between the milk feeds
Goalkeepers now successfully fulfill the parent role and stay awake (and sleep) every day of Apollo every day
“Sand and mud baths are enjoyed at any time of the day, and rubbing the abdomen always ensures that he is lulled into a blissful stupor. Mud baths are never more necessary than in the heat of the day when the sun scorches in hot Tsavo.
Rhinos look like they have thick skin, but it’s actually relatively sensitive, and a luscious layer of red earth mud on its skin not only helps keep it cool, but also helps protect it from irritating insects, helping to keep its skin condition soft. keep it and smooth. ‘
Since he’s just a baby, he sleeps a lot of naps all day, sleeping at the feet of his Keepers, comforted by their proximity. His fondness for his Keepers is matched only by his love affair with his bedtime mattress, which he lifts up and down over his head before settling down on a soft hay bed at night and creating his own cozy fortress.
“Thanks to donations from supporters around the world, we have the privilege of supporting Apollo during his milk-dependent years and eventually helping him return to his birthright: a life in the wild.”