When South African rhinos are killed, Rhino Orphanage saves their babies
ENTABENI SAFARI CONSERVANCY, South Africa — Hunters are killing rhinos in South Africa. It is against the law to kill rhinos. Hunters who break the law are called poachers. Poachers shoot the mothers. They leave the baby rhinos behind. The baby rhinos have no parents. They become orphans.
Many baby rhinos probably die. The lucky ones end up at The Rhino Orphanage.
Caring For Baby Rhinos
Workers there care for the baby rhinos. They feed and walk them. They calm down the rhinos. The workers are almost like mothers to the rhinos. The rhinos learn to recognize voices. They sleep in a stable. They roll in the mud and play. Eventually, they go back to the wild.
The orphanage is very careful. It does not want poachers to find the rhinos.
Most of the rhinos in the world live in South Africa. Hunters killed more than 1,200 of the country's rhinos in 2014. They are killing more again this year.
Returning To The Wild
Hunters kill the rhinos to get their horns. Some people in Asia want the horns. They think the horns can be used as medicine. But there is no proof that it really works.
Sixteen rhino orphans were rescued in 2014. Four were put in homes with female rhinos. The females act as mothers to the babies.
Edna Molewa works for the South African government. She said eventually the rhinos should go live in the wild. That is the plan.
The Rhino Orphanage opened in 2012.
Once, poachers were on their way to the orphanage. They did not know that the government knew about their plan. A government spy was with the poachers. He told the government about the plan. The hunters were arrested.
Workers from around the world come to the orphanage. They help the rhinos. They do not put pictures on the internet. The workers do not want hunters to find the orphanage.
Humans do not get near the rhinos much. It helps for when the rhinos go back to the wild. The rhinos go back to the wild when they are 2 or 3 years old. They are old enough to take care of themselves then.