Young bulls spar at The Rhino Orphanage

Posted by Imogen Searra on 9 February 2021

The Rhino Orphanage have pioneered rhino calf rescue and rehabilitation. The dedicated team are equipped in handling and caring for rhino calves that have been left orphaned by poachers.

The team at The Rhino Orphanage have been documenting the success stories of their resident calves on social media. The trials and tribulations the team have endured throughout the journey of raising, caring and rehabilitating rhino calves is inspirational.

Residents Kolisi and Phil were recently filmed partaking in a bout of sparring, which was shared on social media. Both young bulls have come from a similar, tragic background and have bonded over the time they have been at the orphanage.

‘Such important life lessons for these young bulls. Although this play-fighting never has serious consequences, it’s clear that both young boys wants to be crowned the winner. It is entertaining and interesting to watch the dynamics of their friendship,’ said the Orphanage in a Facebook post.

In the comment section, the Orphanage answered a question pertaining to rhino body language and how to decipher between aggression and playfulness:

‘Yes there will be clear signs of aggression coupled with bellowing, no easing up on the charge with horn down etc. This will usually only happen to bulls nearing sexual maturity or already mature bulls in territorial fights that are evenly matched. As far as stepping in to stop fighting… that would be a brave person. Luckily not necessary with these young animals,’ the Orphanage wrote.

Take a look at the display below:

Facts about The Rhino Orphanage:

  • Baby rhinos are hand-reared by the rehabilitation staff, a milk substitute is fed as well as supplementary food.
  • Exercise is encouraged by daily walks in which the rhinos also have the opportunity to graze and browse in the bush.
  • The rhinos are split in groups according to ages and how depending they are on their human moms.
  • Natural behaviour such as playing and wallowing are highly encouraged and are developed normally if rhinos are socialized with other rhinos.
  • Health checks, diets and medical problems are treated by specialized veterinary staff.
  • Human contact is restricted to prevent the imprinting of rhinos to humans and in the future turn them into problem animals when in adulthood.

Image: Screenshot from video

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