Skip to content

Shamara, New Rhino Orphan Arrival

September 13, 2021

** New Arrival **

Another wild rhino mother needed the help of our Team. A new baby, a little girl between 3 and 4 months old, was brought to the Orphanage today. The rhino cow, a first time mother, seems to no longer have produced enough milk to feed her baby and started leaving the little one behind. A sad consequence of the dry season combined with inexperienced motherhood.

The reserve management team luckily kept a close eye on things and realised that the calf’s condition was deteriorating. They contacted our vet and dr Pierre made the decision to send the calf to the Orphanage. When she was tranquilized, her mother did not even try to defend the little one and walked away. Like she knew what had to be done.

Our team is working hard to get the baby drinking and calm, as she doesn’t understand what has happened and she is extremely hungry on top of it. Please keep her in your thoughts tonight. Fingers crossed that she hasn’t reverted to eating sand as these little ones so often do.


Our new little girl had a restless night but she is drinking like a little champion. Our carers have already removed the IV line as she is taking in a lot of fluids via her bottles, mainly electrolytes to start off with and gradually moving on to a weak milk solution. As the formula is foreign to her gut it needs to be introduced slowly over the next couple of days, working up to full strength milk. Her earplugs are out as well so she can hear the soft, soothing voices of her carers.

Her reserve has aptly named her Shamara, meaning the Strong One. The next step will be to remove her blindfold and win her trust completely.

As this is yet another little mouth to feed we have left open our Feed and Milk drive campaign. If anyone would like to contribute you may visit this link.

16 September 2021 – UPDATE
Update on Shamara (aka the Sassy Princess 🦏)

Mom’s bed is obviously much better 😂 and worth a huff & a little sassy charge to get onto it first (and mom will gladly share ❤️🦏). Shamara is half way to full strength milk and there doesn’t seem to be any adverse reactions to the formula. She passed some faeces and unfortunately there is sand in it as suspected. Our carers are treating her with psyllium given in her milk. Her faeces were also a little hard due to dehydration. That will improve now that she drinks 10 litres of milk per day and water in between.

We often observe sand-eating in new arrivals, possibly a stress response. Sand-eating may lead to colic, impactions & torsion of the gut and may potentially be fatal. Our carers are well trained to recognise subtle signs of colic in rhino and are watching Shamara like a hawk. So far so good 👌.